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Medina of Fez

Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    partial covering of the Oued Boukhrareb

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage (issue resolved)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (issue resolved)
  • Housing (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 42,200 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

In April 2003, the Centre received information concerning the partial covering of the Oued Boukhrareb, within the Medina of Fes, by a concrete slab of around 250 Meters. This intervention, apparently carried out without the approval of the responsible authorities, appears to be the first step towards the erection of a series of shops and would have a number of negative consequences. These include:

- Hydrological risk, owing to the possibility of exceptional rains which could cause floods upstream or destroy the new structure;

- Environmental risk, since the main waste-water collectors of the Medina are now buried under the structure and cannot be inspected or maintained;

- Cultural risk, as a result of the impact of this new construction on the Medina and particularly on the two historic bridges of Terrafine and Binlamdoun.

On 29 May 2003 and 10 June 2003, the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Division of Cultural heritage have written to the Moroccan authorities, requesting further information on this project.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.104
Medina of Fez (Morocco)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Takes note of the report presented by the Secretariat concerning the construction of a concrete slab, covering the Oued Boukhrareb, within the Medina of Fez, and negatively impacting on the World Heritage property;

2. Requests the State Party to re-establish the integrity of the property by demolishing this new structure, constructed against the advice of the competent authority;

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

Draft Decision : 27 COM 7 (b) 104

The World Heritage Committee,

1.            Takes note of the report presented by the Secretariat, concerning the execution of a concrete slab, which would cover the Oued Boukhrareb, within the Medina of Fes, and negatively impact on the World Heritage property;

2.            Invites the State Party to provide information to the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, on the above-mention work, and subsequently to submit a report on the progress of the matter by 1 February 2004 for the consideration of the Committee at its 28th session.

Report year: 2003
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)

* : 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.