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 (for all World Heritage Sites of Iraq):

Previous monitoring missions

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project; June 2011: joint 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 2016

On 17 February 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/.

The State Party reports that it has almost no information on the situation at the site, the latter being still occupied by extremist armed groups.

Other sources report that the extremist armed groups were responsible for deliberate destructions in the property on 2 and 9 June 2015. They also report that they destroyed and looted several sites around the property as well, between 23 December 2015 and 5 January 2016, to create military positions.

The protection and preservation works have been stopped due to the conflict situation. The destruction process continues in the sites controlled by the extremist armed groups.

The State Party calls on the activation of the 1954 Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict. It also presents the halt of looting as an immediate priority and highlights the need for international support by providing funding, training, equipment and maintenance. Finally, the State Party asks the World Heritage Committee to send assessment missions to the site, as soon as the situation permits.

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

Additional sources report that the site is probably not used as a military base by the extremist armed groups anymore. However, the lack of information about the situation at the site, for the second consecutive year, is of extreme concern. Carrying out an emergency rapid assessment at the property should be a priority for the responsible authorities as soon as the security situation permits.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7A.10

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.25, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Encourages the State Party to pursue its efforts to ensure the protection of the property, despite the impossibility to access it;
  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. Calls upon all the UNESCO Member States to comply with the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention 1954 and the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970, and to cooperate to fight the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Iraq, pursuant to Resolution 2199 of the United Nations Security Council, adopted in February 2015;
  6. Also calls upon the international community to further support the safeguarding of Iraqi cultural heritage through earmarked funds;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  8. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 40 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/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: