Tyre (Lebanon) (C 299)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1984
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 29,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount granted: USD 19,173 (1997-2001) for the International Safeguarding Campaign
Previous monitoring missions
2004: Evaluation mission by the UNESCO Office in Beirut; September 2006: UNESCO mission following the 2006 summer conflict; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; September 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Need for an international safeguarding campaign (issue resolved)
- Construction of a tourist complex (land fill) (issue resolved)
- Construction project of a large fish market (issue resolved)
- Construction project of a coastal motorway (issue resolved)
- Uncontrolled construction (issue resolved)
- Project to build a new tourist marina (issue resolved)
- Road construction project (issue resolved)
- Need for a Urban Master Plan for the city
- Lack of management mechanism (including legislation)
- Important and often uncontrolled urban development
- Public works, tourism developments
- Absence of a management and conservation plan
- Insufficient maintenance
- Major highway development near the property and the redevelopment of the port
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015
On 31 March 2015, the State Party submitted a report together with associated documents and an updated ‘Action Plan’ for the property. This report is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/documents/ and reports the following:
- The General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA), within the Lebanese Ministry of Culture, signed a partnership agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Tunisian Heritage Institute, in December 2014 regarding the ‘ARCHEOMEDSITES’ project, which is funded by the European Union. A range of conservation activities, including development of a management plan for the property, preparation of a GIS archaeological map of Tyre, finalisation of a marine protection zone, education and training, as well as resolution of the boundary and buffer zone will all be addressed within the scope of this project.
- A number of national and international experts have been recruited to undertake analysis for the preparation of the management plan, including: consideration of the archaeological context, legal analysis and culture-based SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. A workshop was held on 21 March 2015 to prepare the strategy for the management plan.
- The Saida-Naqoura Highway archaeological investigation project has been delayed, but will commence in April 2015.
- A concept strategy regarding traffic in Tyre which forms part of an extensive report: ‘Detailed Engineering Studies – Phase II for Urban Development and Conservation in Tyre’ was also provided.
- Discussions have been held regarding mosaic conservation and related methodologies and the State Party reports that the results from a forthcoming expert workshop in April 2015 will be sent to the World Heritage Centre.
- A comprehensive report will be submitted in response to the Committee’s decision to refer the request for a minor boundary modification and buffer zone to the State Party (Decision 37 COM 8B.45), following preparation of the forthcoming management plan.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The State Party report and the revised Action Plan indicate that significant progress has occurred since the 2012 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission with a number of the conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013), as follows:
- Ensure coordination within the Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project (BTAP) and cooperation between the General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA), the “Cultural Heritage and Urban Development” (CHUD), the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to effectively monitor the design and implementation of the BATP;
- Recruitment of a number of national and international experts, including a GIS expert responsible for the Archaeological Map of Tyre and a related property database;
- Recruitment of archaeologists, field training and deployment of archaeology teams, thereby substantially strengthening the human capacity of the DGA;
- The proposed Marine Protection Zone proposal is awaiting approval from the Minister of Culture, but will now be considered within the framework of the forthcoming management plan and following consideration of the Minor Boundary Modification request;
- Resources have been deployed for some ongoing maintenance work, including vegetation control, the development of a regular maintenance plan for the city and al-Bass sites, as well as commencement of a program for protection of selected surfaces and structures, through the Cultural Heritage and Urban Development (CHUD);
- A fire prevention strategy is being prepared and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre during 2015;
- A conservation project for the green bath mosaics, which was to be undertaken in collaboration with ICCROM and the Getty Conservation Institute, was cancelled because the budget was not approved. However, the State Party has indicated that mosaic conservation will commence in 2015, subject to expert workshop discussions which will occur within the framework of the ‘ARCHEOMEDSITES’ project;
- Implementation of regular monitoring will be included within the forthcoming management plan and will be informed by discussions at the forthcoming expert workshop; and
- Additional minor enhancement and maintenance interventions and consultation with local stakeholders are also proposed as part of the ‘ARCHEOMEDSITES’ project.
The State Party has made significant progress in relation to the conservation of the property. However, there are a number of recommendations from the Committee which are yet to be fully implemented. Some of these matters may appropriately be addressed within the overall management plan and the ‘ARCHEOMEDSITES’ project; however it is desirable that important initiatives, such as preparation of the comprehensive traffic study, as well as specific measures for fire prevention, drainage and sewerage, mosaic conservation, vegetation control and effective monitoring of conservation interventions, proceed expeditiously.
Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.54
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.52, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
- Welcomes the progress that has been made with a number of management and conservation measures which were addressed by the Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013), as well as the submission of an updated Action Plan for the management and conservation of the property;
- Also welcomes the partnership agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Tunisian Heritage Institute, which will facilitate the preparation of a management plan for the property;
- Requests the State Party, in accordance with Decision 36 COM 7B.52, to continue its progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the 2012 Reactive Monitoring mission, particularly:
- Undertake a planning process for the development of a management plan for the property and include provisions for a conservation strategy, risk preparedness, presentation and interpretation as well as for regulatory measures,
- Ensure that the management structure becomes fully operational by securing adequate resources for all aspects of documentation, conservation and monitoring,
- Establish a maritime protection zone around the seashores of Tyre,
- Improve on-going maintenance practices for vegetation control and put in place measures for fire prevention and adequate drainage and sewage systems,
- Establish a recovery programme for detached mosaics and ensure their protection until a decision is made on their conservation and restoration,
- Monitor conservation interventions to assess their efficacy and use the monitor results to inform the development of the conservation strategy,
- Further develop and implement the framework for coordination of the Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project (BTAP) and enhance cooperation between the General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA), the “Cultural Heritage and Urban Development” (CHUD), the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to effectively monitor the design and implementation of the project;
- Also requests the State Party to provide a copy of the forthcoming management plan to the World Heritage Centre as soon as it has been prepared;
- Further welcomes the submission of a concept strategy regarding traffic in Tyre, provided as part of a broader urban development and conservation program, but further requests the State Party, in accordance with Decision 36 COM 7B.52, to carry out a comprehensive traffic study that clarifies all projected street networks and roundabouts, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) for the South Highway and its crossing at Tel el-Maachouk, and to submit this study to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, as well as a revised and updated version of the Action Plan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.