Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Abu Mena

Egypt
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Relative humidity
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Rise in the water table (issue mostly solved);
  • Impact on structures due to earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment (works completed);
  • Lack of conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc.);
  • Need for a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • A land-reclamation programme and irrigation scheme with no appropriate drainage mechanism, for the agricultural development of the region has caused a dramatic rise in the water table;
  • The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated around the property, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the north-western region of the property;
  • A large, banked road has been built to enable movement within the property.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 1 (from 2001-2014)
Total amount approved : 7,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

2002: Expert mission; 2005, 2009 and 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 6 January 2014, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/90/documents and notes progress on the following:

  • Condition survey: A visit to the property underscored several decay factors, largely related to groundwater and other sources of humidity, and a request was made to the conservation department at the archaeological site of Alexandria to prepare a complete condition survey and preliminary conservation studies.
  • Dewatering of archaeological areas: The Ministry of State for Antiquities has started the removal of water pumps and existing remains are being backfilled. Methodological approaches to dewatering are being prepared prior to continuing with this action.
  • Reconstruction work at the Great Basilica: Interventions carried out with new blocks have been removed and restoration using the original blocks has commenced. No specific details have been provided regarding the intervention.
  • Inappropriate structures around the property: Alternatives need to be explored to address the need of the local Coptic community to practice religious rites. As for illegal constructions by local Bedouin populations, meetings are foreseen to address removal of buildings within the boundaries of the property.
  • Management Plan: The plan has been drafted and formally approved by the Director General of the Islamic and Coptic Department for implementation as soon as funds are available. The attached plan provides indications of the main objectives and an outline of policies as well as proposed implementation. A summary of factors currently affecting the property is provided. Provisions are limited and largely indicate that additional plans need to be developed or that policies should be formulated.
  • Buffer zone: Work has started on the land survey and the use of satellite imagery and photography to define a new buffer zone for the property. Adaptations are taking into account areas taken out due to the reclamation project.

The World Heritage Centre has supported the State Party in fundraising for the preparation of a Conservation Plan for the property, which includes a conservation survey, and the undertaking of geotechnical studies of the water table; the “Fondation Arts et Ouvrages” has granted 100 000 USD for this purpose.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The State Party has undertaken a lot of work for the property. The “Fondation Arts et Ouvrages” has also contributed financially to enable the State Party to conduct the conservation condition survey and elaborate the prioritised treatment programme. The State Party should provide the re-burial strategy as part of the Conservation Plan, as a result the stopping of the de-watering. As for the work at the Great Basilica, no technical details of the intervention were provided in timely manner to be able to ascertain whether current actions are appropriate and to ensure that no further erosion of the conditions of authenticity exist.

The efforts being made to engage in dialogue with the involved stakeholders regarding inappropriate structures and illegal construction need to be continued to ensure that no new construction occurs at the property, while awaiting for a resolution on their demolition.

In terms of the Management Plan, the document sent provides useful indications. However, the Management Plan needs to be further developed to allow for clear policies and provisions, as well as associated strategies and actions with precise timeframes, costs and responsibilities for implementation. The Management Plan will also need to include provisions for the management and regulatory measures for the proposed buffer zone, as this provides an added layer of protection of the property.

Given the above, it is considered that the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger has not been fully met and that although the State Party has made commendable efforts, corrective measures have yet to be fully implemented.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.1
Abu Mena (Egypt) (C 90)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.23 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of measures at the property and urges it to continue with the implementation of the corrective measures, with particular attention to the following:
    1. Undertake detailed condition surveys to identify priority interventions to ensure stabilization of archaeological remains,
    2. Define a comprehensive strategy to address drainage of groundwater and impacts from other sources of humidity,
    3. Finalize discussions with involved communities and develop a programme for the removal of inadequate new constructions and the creation of facilities to allow for religious uses in areas outside the boundaries of the inscribed property and its buffer zone,
    4. Further develop the management plan to establish a clear policy framework, identify strategies and actions, with precise timeframes, costs and responsibilities for implementation, in main issues for the property such as archaeological research, conservation, maintenance, protection, visitor use, among others. The developed plan should also include clear provisions for the management of the proposed buffer zone,
    5. Finalize the surveys to identify adequate boundaries for the property and buffer zones and submit, by 1 February 2015, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  4. Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details of all on-going or planned restoration interventions at the property, particularly those at the Great Basilica and the reburial strategy, for review prior to implementation;
  5. 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 of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  6. Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.23 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Commends the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of measures at the property and urges it to continue with the implementation of the corrective measures, with particular attention to the following:

a)  Undertake detailed condition surveys to identify priority interventions to ensure stabilization of archaeological remains,

b)  Define a comprehensive strategy to address drainage of groundwater and impacts from other sources of humidity,

c)  Finalize discussions with involved communities and develop a programme for the removal of inadequate new constructions and the creation of facilities to allow for religious uses in areas outside the boundaries of the inscribed property and its buffer zone,

d)  Further develop the management plan to establish a clear policy framework, identify strategies and actions, with precise timeframes, costs and responsibilities for implementation, in main issues for the property such as archaeological research, conservation, maintenance, protection, visitor use, among others. The developed plan should also include clear provisions for the management of the proposed buffer zone,

e)  Finalize the surveys to identify adequate boundaries for the property and buffer zones and submit, by 1 February 2015, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance with Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;

4.  Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details of all on-going or planned restoration interventions at the property, particularly those at the Great Basilica and the reburial strategy, for review prior to implementation;

5.  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 of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

6.  Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Report year: 2014
Egypt
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 2001-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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.


top