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Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Demolition of the 375-year old essential hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens to enlarge a road

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 5 (from 1981-2000)
Total amount approved : 121,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The Centre and ICOMOS organised the UNESCO-ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore (5-8 September 2000) following the request of the Committee and Bureau. The findings and recommendations of this Mission will be reported to the Bureau at its session. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 COM VIII.30
Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore (Pakistan)

VIII.30 Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore (Pakistan)

The World Heritage Centre informed the Committee that the Director-General of UNESCO had received a letter dated 27 November 2000 from the authorities of Pakistan requesting the World Heritage Committee to inscribe the Shalamar Gardens on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In the letter, the authorities of Pakistan informed the Director-General that the State Party recognised the urgent need to restore the damaged part of the outer walls and hydraulic works of Shalamar Gardens. Reiterating the great importance attached to activities for protecting the World Heritage sites located in Pakistan, the Director- General was assured that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure proper renovation and restoration of these unique gardens, which are not only an important cultural heritage landmark in the historic city of Lahore, but also a site visited by thousands of people. The authorities informed the Secretariat that the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Ministry of Culture, and the local authorities concerned are actively co-operating to ensure that the gardens remain intact and do not suffer any further deterioration.

Through this letter, the Government of Pakistan expressed its appreciation for continued assistance from the World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Centre for the conservation and development of the Shalamar Gardens. By nominating the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the State Party expressed its hope to increase public awareness both nationally and internationally on the importance of preserving this Moghul exemplary site of World Heritage of value, which continues to be a living cultural heritage site. The Committee examined the state of conservation of Shalamar Gardens and the deliberations of the Bureau during the twenty-fourth extraordinary session, and took note of the request by the State Party to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee expressed serious concern over the complete loss of two of the three hydraulic works and the partial demolition of the third hydraulic work. Recognising that the property is threatened by serious and specific danger, necessitating major operations to ensure the protection of these essential components of the historic monumental and garden complex within the property, the Committee decided to inscribe the Fort and Shalamar Gardens on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

While appreciating the co-operation between the central and local authorities concerned to enhance the conservation of the Shalamar Gardens, the Committee requested the State Party: 

  • to prohibit parking on the site of the first and second tanks as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the archaeological remains;. 
  • to fence off the site on which these remains are located from the immediate surrounding so that it is no longer directly accessible; 
  • to consolidate the remaining foundations of the two tanks as an archaeological relic and take measures to prevent further deterioration of what still remains of the third tank with its brick arches, in order to safeguard the remains of the former hydraulic works; 
  • to define and implement a "rescue programme" as soon as possible, as recommended by the ICOMOS-UNESCO reactive monitoring mission (October 2000) in close co-operation with the World Heritage Centre;

The Committee requested the State Party to provide clarification concerning ownership, land use and the legal status of the land within 60 metres of these hydraulic works, particularly in view of the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, applicable to this site.

Finally, the Committee underlined that the damage to this property illustrates a case where world heritage values of a property had been severely undermined due to insufficient attention given to conservation needs in the planning and implementation of public works.

24 COM X.4-5
List of World Heritage in Danger

X.4 Following the review of the state of conservation reports and at the recommendations of the Bureau, the Committee decided to inscribe the following natural cultural properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore (Pakistan)
  • Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal)
  • Historic City of Zabid (Yemen)

X.5 The Committee did not recommend the deletion of any properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

24 COM XIV.2
Requests for International Assistance: Emergency Assistance

XIV.2 Requests for International Assistance

The Bureau met during the twenty-fourth session of the Committee after the budget for Technical Assistance for year 2001 under Chapter III was approved, to take decisions or recommend decisions to the Committee concerning international assistance requests. The attention of the Committee and Bureau was drawn to document WHC-2000/CONF.204/17 and 6 requests for decision by the Committee and 14 requests for decision by the Bureau were examined and took the following decisions. All decisions taken by the Bureau and Committee concerning these requests are listed below:

(iv) Emergency Assistance

Cultural Heritage

New Request Pakistan

"Development of a Rescue Programme for the Shalamar Gardens, following the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger and Activities for Awareness Raising"

After considerable discussion, the Bureau recommended that the Committee approve an allocation of US$ 50,000, requesting the State Party to adjust the budget allocation and activity plan in close co-operation with ICOMOS, ICCROM and the World Heritage Centre, which should be approved by the Chairperson before contracts were issued. The Bureau considered that the component related to the Youth Forum and translation of the Education Kit could be considered under "Assistance for Educational, Information, Promotional Activities", and should not be funded under Emergency Assistance.

Following the recommendation of the Bureau, the Committee approved US$ 50,000, requesting the State Party to adjust the budget allocation and activity plan in close co-operation with ICOMOS, ICCROM and the World Heritage Centre, which should be approved by the Chairperson before contracts were issued.

Special note: Conditions for the granting of international assistance. Following a proposal from Thailand, the Committee agreed that, with respect to countries in arrears, conditions for granting assistance as set out in Operational Guidelines, paragraph 121 should be adhered to.

The Bureau may wish to examine further information at the time of its twenty-fourth extraordinary session and take decisions thereupon.

Report year: 2000
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)
Danger List (dates): 2000-2012
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 24COM (2000)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.