1.         State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv” (Turkmenistan) (C 886)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1999

Criteria  (ii)(iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/886/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 98,814
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/886/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/886/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003


Illicit excavation at remote sites within the World Heritage protected area of Ancient Merv has been repeatedly noted with concern by Centre staff and UNESCO experts during missions. Since 2001, the Centre has organized, in close co-operation with CRATerre EAG experts, the planning of a systematic monitoring for a selection of monuments at the site with the authorities. This activity has been successfully launched and an on-site training activity in conservation, protection and restoration of earthen architecture aiming to reinforce the capacities of the authorities, has also begun. In addition, several archaeological excavation and conservation work are on-going at the site, such as the International Merv Project (a Turkmen-British archaeological co-operation), a joint Turkmen-Turkish project for the conservation and restoration of the Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum commenced in 2002, annual Russian archaeological excavations at necropolises near Margus and a capacity-building project for the recording, management and conservation of cultural sites within Ancient Merv, funded by the World Monuments Fund. 


Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.55

The World Heritage Committee [34],

1. Expresses its appreciation to the State Party, CRATerre (Centre Régional pour l'architecture en terre) and the World Heritage Centre for their continued co-operation to enhance conservation and management of this large property;

2. Requests the State Party to strengthen the legal protection and management mechanism to safeguard the extensive property, especially to prevent looting of excavated archaeological areas, particularly necropolises, and to enhance communication among the various international teams working on-site, which ideally should be co-ordinated and controlled by the Department for the Protection and Restoration of Monuments within the Ministry of Culture;

3. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 on the progress made in enhancing the conservation and management of the property in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.

[34]  Decision adopted without discussion.