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Samarra Archaeological City

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
  • 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 2016

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

Total amount granted for all World Heritage Sites of Iraq:

  • USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust
  • USD 1,5 million by the Government of Japan (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 154,000 by the Government of Norway (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • EUR 300,000 by the Government of Italy (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 35,000 by the Government of the Netherlands (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

June 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

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/276/documents/.

The State Party reports that recent events have affected the city due to military operations in Salah Ad Din Governorate. The most damaged components of the property are the Great Mosque, Abu Dalaf mosque and the dome of Salibia.

The protection and preservation works have been stopped due to the conflict situation. The destruction process continues in the sites controlled by 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 Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The State Party did not report on the two main issues pointed out by the World Heritage Committee in its last Decision (39 COM 7A.26): the measures to ensure that no ostentatious religious signs are displayed at the property and the implementation of the measures recommended in the technical note elaborated in view of addressing the graffiti issue. Nor did it provide details about the damage to the Great Mosque, Abu Dalaf mosque and the dome of Salibia.

With the deterioration of the security situation in Salah Ad Din Governorate, due to military operations, the site appears to be inaccessible to the responsible Iraqi authorities. However, according to additional sources, the threats seem rather contained at present.

As for the other World Heritage Sites of Iraq for which no information about the situation at the site is available, it is crucial that an emergency rapid assessment at the property be carried out by the responsible authorities, as soon as the security conditions permit, in close coordination with the UNESCO Office for Iraq.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.12
Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276 rev)

The World Heritage Committee, 

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.26, 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 acces 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 and its two Protocols 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 Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
40 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/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:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.12

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.26, 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 acces 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. 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;
  6. Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
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 (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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