1.         Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Kazakhstan) (C 1103)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (i)(iii)(iv)

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/1103/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1103/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1103/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 29 February 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report and an executive summary, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1103/documents. The report contains detailed information addressing the conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

The State Party also provided information on the present condition of the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and clarified that no construction projects are being implemented nor planned within the buffer zone. 

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

In reviewing the plans and drawings provided for the Mosque for 2000 prayers, it is noted that despite assurances provided by the State Party the height of the minarets have only been reduced to 33.1 metres instead of 26 metres and that the height of the dome has remained at 31.5 metres instead of 25 metres, despite the recommendation made by the Advisory mission in 2010 suggesting that the height should not reach more than 28 metres including the minarets, and that even this is higher than the buildings of the surrounding city of Turkestan, hence the issue should be further discussed among conservation architects and other stakeholders. While the architectural design of the mosque does not have an immediate impact on the setting of the Mausoleum, the possible visual impact in terms of height remains a concern. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide an architectural perspective illustrating the visual relationship between the setting of the Mosque and the Mausoleum. 

The recommendations presented by the Round Table concerning the establishment of an Advisory Group for monitoring and coordination of all projects related to monuments and World Heritage properties, as well as the need to elaborate a development strategy for the City of Turkestan are valuable steps towards ensuring the adequate preservation of the setting of the Mausoleum and the City of Turkestan. In regard to the Management Plan submitted for evaluation, it is considered that the document needs considerable review so that it can be an effective and adequate tool for the management and protection of the property. The proposed plan places emphasis on addressing the fabric of the property but not the overall management and conservation of the property in relation to the attributes that embody its Outstanding Universal Value or the necessary management arrangements that are needed to address current shortcomings in the system, particularly in relation to conservation policies and protection of the buffer zone and setting of the property. A series of recommendations on how to move the review process forward have been made. It is also important to integrate the specific recommendations made by the Round Table in relation to the overarching policy for conservation and management of the property that has yet to be defined.

It is proposed that the Committee request the State Party to provide a complete electronic copy of the Management Plan of the property and its summary in English to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review, in addition to the official submission of the revised buffer zone of the property.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.16

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.64, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to respond to the issues raised concerning the architectural design of the Mosque for 2000 prayers and the inclusion of various stakeholders and national experts in the planning process;
  4. Regrets that despite assurances provided by the State Party, the heights of the minarets have only been reduced to 33.1 metres, instead of 26 metres, and that the height of the dome has not been reduced at all, much less to the 28 metres recommended by the Advisory mission carried out in 2010;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre the following documents for review by the Advisory Bodies:
    1. an architectural perspective illustrating the visual relationship between the setting of the Mosque and the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, in order to judge whether the slight reduction in the height of the construction still poses a potential negative impact on the setting of the Mausoleum,
    2. an electronic and three printed copies of the revised management plan for the property, in accordance to the recommendations made in the technical review, as well as its summary in English,
    3. the revised map of the property’s buffer zone;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation and the above mentioned documents, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.