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

Tomb of Askia

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of site management
  • Armed conflict
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Occupation of Gao city by armed groups;
  • Inability to ensure daily management in the protection and conservation of the property;
  • Risk of collapse of the property.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: UNESCO Emergency Fund: USD 40,000; Action plan for the rehabilitation of cultural heritage and the safeguarding of ancient manuscripts in Mali: USD 50,000

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 2 (from 2000-2012)
Total amount approved : 54,200 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

May 2012: Emergency UNESCO mission to Bamako; October and December 2012: World Heritage Centre monitoring missions to Bamako; February 2014: UNESCO assessment mission to Gao

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 18 February 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1139/documents/, which provides information on the following:

  • The Tomb of Askia, although not physically touched during the occupation of Gao by armed groups from March 2012 to January 2013, was not maintained or replastered during this period, causing cracks and holes to appear in it. The dilapidated wooden pillars and the roof have also weakened from age and the weight of increased layers of mud resulting from the annual plastering. This sometimes causes the collapse of pillars, as was the case in 2006, 2011 and 2013, and accelerates deterioration of the architectural elements. Flawed electrical installations are also a problem, as well as water supply and sanitation services and the difficulty of securing doors and other openings.
  • The attributes that support the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) appear little damaged, despite a persistent lack of security. To preserve the authenticity and integrity of the property and to ensure its sustainable conservation, however, the State Party believes it is essential to take vigorous action as soon as possible. There is an urgent need for essential repair works, restoration and improvement of the Tomb of Askia, as was planned following the UNESCO assessment mission in February 2014.
  • An architectural diagnosis of the status of all components of the Tomb was developed by a team of Malian and CRAterre-ENSAG architects following the 2014 assessment mission. It takes into account the built ensemble and the immediate environs of the property, and makes recommendations.
  • As part of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage and the Safeguarding of Ancient Manuscripts in Mali, adopted in Paris on 18 February 2013, the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with UNESCO, organized the maintenance and plastering of the Tomb in June 2014, allowing communities to reconnect with traditional maintenance practices and conservation. This activity, piloted by the property’s Management Committee, was highly participatory, bringing together the city’s Sonrhaï, Arab, Tuareg and Peulh communities and featuring strong involvement by regional decision-makers. The activity contributed significantly to strengthening the social cohesion and peace among these communities.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The continuing progress made in ensuring that the OUV, the authenticity and the integrity of the World Heritage property are sustained is noted. The conservation initiatives for World Heritage properties, which, at the same time, serve as tools to improve social cohesion and contribute to reconciliation, such as the plastering of the Tomb in August 2014 are commended.

Nevertheless, the Tomb has exhibited structural weaknesses and degradations over a period of several years, to the degree that architectural experts undertaking a diagnostic assessment in 2014 found it challenging to be completely optimistic about its future. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate the need to continue preparing detailed, in-depth architectural diagnostic analyses in order to guide essential repair and conservation work, and encourage the State Party to undertake these analyses on a priority basis.

It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate its concern that the 2002-2007 management plan prepared has not yet been updated, as was recommended in 2014, and strongly urge the State Party to include this issue as a priority among the urgent actions for the property. The functioning of the Gao Cultural Mission remains ineffective, as was indicated during the February 2014 assessment mission. The State Party, once the situation on the northern region of Mali is stable, should be requested to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved in the rehabilitation of its components, and to prepare all the corrective measures as well as a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

It is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and continue to apply the reinforced monitoring mechanism.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.22
Tomb of the Askia (Mali) (C 1139)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.25, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the continuing progress being made in sustaining the attributes that support the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage property;
  4. Reiterates the continuing need to prepare detailed, in-depth architectural diagnostic analyses, in order to guide essential repair and conservation work, and encourages the State Party to undertake these analyses on a priority basis;
  5. Also reiterates its request that the 2002-2007 Management Plan be updated, in close consultation with the Management Committee of the property, as a priority among the urgent actions for the property;
  6. Requests the State Party, once the situation on the northern region of Mali is stable, to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved in its rehabilitation, and to develop all the corrective measures, as well as a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Also 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;
  8. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;
  9. Also decides to retain the Tomb of Askia (Mali) 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.22

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.25, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the continuing progress being made in sustaining the attributes that support the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage property;
  4. Reiterates the continuing need to prepare detailed, in-depth architectural diagnostic analyses, in order to guide essential repair and conservation work, and encourages the State Party to undertake these analyses on a priority basis;
  5. Also reiterates its request that the 2002-2007 Management Plan be updated, in close consultation with the Management Committee of the property, as a priority among the urgent actions for the property;
  6. Requests the State Party, once the situation on the northern region of Mali is stable, to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved in its rehabilitation, and to develop all the corrective measures, as well as a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Also 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;
  8. Decides to continue the application of the reinforced monitoring mechanism of the property;
  9. Also decides to retain the Tomb of Askia (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Mali
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2012-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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