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Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat)

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Flooding
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Fragile mud brick structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Partial flooding and seepage due to a dam building project
  • Fragile mud brick structures
  • Absence of a comprehensive conservation and management plan
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Nearby construction of a dam entailing partial flooding and seepage;
  • Armed conflict.
Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 1 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project; June 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 12 April 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report for the four World Heritage properties in Iraq as well as for ten of the eleven sites included in the country’s Tentative List. The report is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/.

The State Party reports that armed groups occupied the house of the German archaeological mission as well as the new house of the Iraqi archaeological mission, located at the south-west area of the property, at the ziggurat and the ancient palace. The State Party also reports that this occupation of the site has led to the striking of the armed groups’ positions by air forces on 27 and 29 August 2014. This striking caused damage to the house of the German archaeological mission as well as to the wall of Ashur and destroyed the glass cover that protects the Royal Cemetery.

The property being located in ISIL’s control area, it is very difficult to gather accurate information on its state of conservation.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

On 17 July 2014, an expert meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters led to the adoption of an Emergency Response Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage (also see Part I of Document WHC-15/39.COM/7).

The absence of information about the situation at the site raises a very high concern. It would be essential, as soon as the security conditions permit, that the responsible authorities carry out a rapid assessment of the state of conservation of the property and submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre, prior to any action on the ground.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.25
Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.2 adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to ensure the protection of the property in spite of the difficult prevailing situation;
  4. Expresses its great concern about the absence of information on the state of conservation of the property and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of the evolution of the situation on the ground;
  5. Also requests the State Party, as soon as the security conditions allow the responsible authorities to visit the site, to carry out a rapid assessment of the state of conservation of the property and submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre prior to any action on the ground;
  6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, 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 40th session in 2016;
  7. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.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 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.25

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.2 adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to ensure the protection of the property inspite of the difficult prevailing situation;
  4. Expresses its great concern about the absence of information on the state of conservation of the property and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of the evolution of the situation on the ground;
  5. Also requests the State Party, as soon as the security conditions allow the responsible authorities to visit the site, to carry out a rapid assessment of the state of conservation of the property and submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre prior to any action on the ground;
  6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, 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 40th session in 2016;
  7. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2003
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2003-present
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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