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Historic Cairo

Egypt
Factors affecting the property in 2002*
  • Human resources
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Earthquake in 1992 (issue resolved)   
  • Inappropriate reconstruction works (issue resolved)    
  • Coordination among institutions
  • Authenticity and adaptive re-use in conservation policy
  • Training and institutional building
Corrective Measures for the property

1. An International Seminar on the conservation of Historic Cairo, with multi-disciplinary planning workshops focused on specific projects, to be organized in early 2002. Periodic reviewing seminars of the current projects will also be held.

2. The establishment within the premises of a restored monument, of a permanent Information Centre on Historic Cairo World Heritage site and current conservation efforts

3. The preparation of a Conservation Manual, with technical specifications and detailed descriptions of the types of work most commonly required for the conservation and maintenance of historic building within the city of Cairo.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2002
Requests approved: 10 (from 1979-1999)
Total amount approved : 398,900 USD
Missions to the property until 2002**

October 1998: expert mission sent by the World Heritage Centre; July 2000: ICOMOS expert mission; August 2001: ICOMOS expert mission; September 2001: World Heritage Centre mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002

Following the ICOMOS report of August 2001 on Islamic Cairo and the subsequent joint agreement between the World Heritage Centre and the Egyptian authorities regarding the implementation of a series of specific actions for this site partially funded through the Egyptian Funds-in-Trust at UNESCO, the following actions were undertaken:

1. An International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Islamic Cairo was organized by the Ministry of Culture of Egypt in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, from 16 to 20 February 2002 in Cairo. Attended by several renowned world experts, both Egyptian and international, on conservation of historic cities and Islamic architecture, the meeting included site visits, four thematic sessions on subjects related to the conservation of Islamic Cairo, as well as technical workshops on specific projects among those currently being implemented by the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The main recommendations of the Symposium can be summarized as follows:

1)     To strengthen coordination among all the concerned institutions and to designate Cairo as a single Planning Zone, with a comprehensive Urban Conservation and Development Plan;

2)     To address, as a matter of priority, the problem related to ground water;

3)     To integrate the re-use of historic buildings in the conservation policy, with an emphasis placed on respect of authenticity;

4)     To address the social context within the framework of a policy for the conservation of Islamic Cairo;

5)     To provide training on urban and architectural conservation of staff from the Supreme Council of Antiquities;

6)     To ensure periodic monitoring and follow up through regular meetings and technical missions between Egyptian and international experts on current projects and overall policies for the conservation of Historic Cairo.

The World Heritage Centre is currently working on the proceedings of the symposium in Arabic and in English, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the UNESCO Cairo Office.

2. A preliminary study for a Conservation Handbook for Islamic Cairo was undertaken by the Centre and financed through an Italian Funds-in-Trust, in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Antiquities. This study will be submitted shortly to the Supreme Council of Antiquities for a joint implementation of the project in several phases, under both the Egyptian Funds-in-Trust and the Italian Funds-in-Trust.

3. The Ministry of Culture is restoring Takeyet Abu El-Dahab, an early twentieth-century structure in Islamic Cairo, to host a permanent multi-media Information Centre on the Islamic Cairo World Heritage site and current conservation efforts.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2002
26 COM 21B.44
Islamic Cairo (Egypt)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party for its great commitment towards the rehabilitation of Islamic Cairo, and particularly for having opened the debate on the current restoration and conservation projects and initiated, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, the activities that the Committee recommended at its 25th session, including the Conservation Handbook;

2. Recommends that these activities be continued and strongly encourages the State Party to concentrate its efforts on the priorities indicated in the conclusions of the International Symposium, including awareness programmes for the inhabitants of Islamic Cairo, in close consultation with the Centre and through periodical technical missions by UNESCO experts who would review and advise on current projects;

3. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to invest adequate resources towards capacity building in the area of urban and architectural conservation for the staff of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following decision:

 

“The Committee commends the State Party for its great commitment towards the rehabilitation of Islamic Cairo, and particularly for having opened the debate on the current restoration and conservation projects and initiated, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, the activities that the Committee recommended at its 25th session, including the Conservation Handbook. The Committee recommends that these activities be continued and strongly encourages the State Party to concentrate its efforts on the priorities indicated in the conclusions of the International Symposium, in close consultation with the Centre and through periodical technical missions by UNESCO experts who would review and advise on current projects.  The Committee, finally, reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to invest adequate resources towards capacity-building in the area of urban and architectural conservation for the staff of the Supreme Council of Antiquities."

Report year: 2002
Egypt
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(v)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 26COM (2002)
Exports

* : 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.


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