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Samarra Archaeological City

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Weathering and lack of maintenance affecting the fragile structures;
  • State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: 100,000 USD from the Nordic World Heritage Fund for training and documentation aiming at the preparation of the Nomination File.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

June 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

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/276/documents/.  The report presents work carried out by the State Party for the conservation and management of the property, mainly in regard to:

  • Development of a 12 to 15-month restoration programme with a USD 10.5 million budget to address structural problems: Objectives are centred on removing inaccurate restorations and preserving structural integrity and fabric of the mosque. Interventions started in June 2013 and have included dismantling of modern concrete columns to only mark the original column areas with new stands. The original floor of the courtyard will also be restored with traditional materials. Interventions are also foreseen for the removal of past interventions at the Minaret.
  • Development of infrastructure foreseen in site: A 150 sq.m site unit building to have housing facilities for staff, as well as office space. A visitor centre and a “green space” with visitor facilities are also being considered. Vegetation zones, to mitigate impact of sand storms, are also being proposed for the northwest part of the site, where no archaeological features have been identified. Finally, a new outer fence to surround the site will be constructed in some parts and restored from the original remains in others.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The State Party has implemented a number of conservation interventions and has placed a lot of attention on safeguarding the historical integrity and authenticity, through the analysis of the historical evolution and documentation of prior interventions, of built heritage.  However, in spite of these efforts no clear course of action has been defined to comprehensively address the overall conservation of the property and to carry out priority stabilization measures at the main components of the site. The importance of completing baseline documentation and carrying out a detailed condition survey, as requested by the Committee, to draw up a conservation action plan, should be underscored. With budgets for interventions currently secured, it would be essential that these actions be implemented promptly to establish a clear roadmap for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

New construction is foreseen at the property although no details on technical specifications or location in relation to the historic remains have been provided. Although having adequate facilities will be important to address staffing issues and future visitor use, these works need careful planning to ensure that no negative impacts on the visual qualities of the property occur.

Finally, initiating the formulation of a Management Plan for the property would provide the adequate framework to comprehensively address issues of concern, in particular a comprehensive conservation strategy, a public use plan, the potential development of infrastructure, and the definition of regulatory measures for the buffer zone to ensure the protection of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.3
Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.25, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of a restoration programme for the property;
  4. Reiterates the need for the State Party to pursue its efforts and prioritise the implementation of the following, as requested by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM7A.25:
    1. Develop baseline documentation, including missing architectural plans and topographic surveys, carry out a detailed conservation condition survey,
    2. Undertake identified preventive conservation actions to ensure the stability of the built fabric,
    3. Identify regulatory measures to ensure the protection of the property and establish protocols for the approval of public works in the vicinity of the site, including the development of heritage and environmental impact assessments,
    4. Initiate the planning process for the development of the Management Plan for the property, including a comprehensive conservation plan,
    5. Establish a site management unit with adequate staff to implement priority conservation measures as well as maintenance and monitoring actions;
  5. 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 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  6. 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;
  7. Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) 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.3

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.25, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Welcomes the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of a restoration programme for the property;

4.  Reiterates the need for the State Party to pursue its efforts and prioritise the implementation of the following, as requested by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM7A.25:

a)  Develop baseline documentation, including missing architectural plans and topographic surveys, carry out a detailed conservation condition survey,

b)  Undertake identified preventive conservation actions to ensure the stability of the built fabric,

c)  Identify regulatory measures to ensure the protection of the property and establish protocols for the approval of public works in the vicinity of the site, including the development of heritage and environmental impact assessments,

d)  Initiate the planning process for the development of the Management Plan for the property, including a comprehensive conservation plan,

e)  Establish a site management unit with adequate staff to implement priority conservation measures as well as maintenance and monitoring actions;

5.  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 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

6.  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;

7.  Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2007-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.


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