1.         Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

Previous monitoring missions

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project; June 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 29 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents and provides information on the following:

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

The situation faced on the ground makes it difficult to address the range and extent of factors that influence the conservation of the fragile archaeological remains at Ashur. While the State Party is making efforts, conservation and management plans, with precise policies and clear provisions for interventions, have not been developed.

The lack of adequate tools to guide decision-making, in response to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, is illustrated by the construction of the protective shelter over the Royal Cemetery. It is regretted that, in spite of the request made by the World Heritage Committee, the details for this intervention were not submitted for review so that options could be explored jointly with the State Party for the protection of the remains. While a protective shelter might be an alternative for protection from environmental factors, the constructed structure has a significant negative impact on the visual qualities of the property and now constitutes a dominant and intrusive element in the archaeological area. 

In addition, the construction of a protective shelter may have irreversible effects on the remains themselves and does not ensure that decay factors will not continue to occur if it is not accompanied by a comprehensive drainage system. The impacts of this intervention on the conditions of integrity and authenticity of the property underscore the urgent need to define a clear conservation plan, based on the results of the 2011 monitoring mission, to identify needed interventions and an overarching conservation policy that seeks to safeguard the attributes of the property and sustain the conditions of authenticity and integrity. Given the impact of the constructed shelter on the attribute of the property, other options will need to be explored for addressing conservation factors at the sector and to reverse and/or mitigate the generated impacts.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.24 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Party in addressing the conservation of the property;
  4. Regrets that the protective shelter was built at the Royal Cemetery in spite of the request made to submit details for the intervention for review prior to its construction, notes the physical and visual impacts of the shelter on the attributes of the property and requests the State Party to work with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in identifying options for the archaeological area and to reverse and/or mitigate the impacts generated by the intervention;
  5. Reiterates its request to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , details of all on-going or planned interventions at the site for review prior to implementation to ensure that no additional impacts are derived from them;
  6. Urges the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to support the preparation of the conservation and management plans, to include the definition of an overarching conservation policy and to define a time schedule for conservation interventions;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, proposals for corrective measures and for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, together with a proposed timeframe, and to finalize the retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  8. 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;
  9. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 8C.2

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: