1.         Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) (C 287)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (iii)

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/287/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/287/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2011: 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/287/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

The State Party did not provide a report on the progress made in implementing the recommendations adopted in Decision 39 COM 7B.57, which was requested by the Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015).

From 9 to 11 May 2016, an International Expert Meeting on the Safeguarding of Libyan Cultural Heritage, organized by UNESCO and ICCROM in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America in Libya, as well as the Ministry of Culture of Libya, was held in Tunis (Tunisia). This meeting allowed the World Heritage Centre to collect some information about the state of conservation of the site through exchanges with the Libyan participants, notably during the working group session on archaeological sites and a specific bilateral side meeting concerning the property. The Libyan heritage professionals who attended the meeting informed the representatives of the World Heritage Centre that no further vandalism has been noted at the site since the damage of 2009 to the mural paintings. However, they expressed their concern about the fact that the Acacus Mountain has become a crossing point for several migrants coming from sub-Saharan Africa and that unusually high numbers of human presence is a threat to the site. A preliminary measure would be to limit access to the site to two entry points, one located on the west side of the mountain and the other to the eastern side. They also emphasized that the guards of the site are powerless, their shelters are regularly vandalized and the involvement of the local Tuareg community is not sufficient enough. Finally, the Libyan heritage professionals confirmed that none of the measures recommended by the reactive monitoring mission of 2011 have to date been implemented.

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

The information provided by the Libyan heritage professionals at the International Expert Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage about the situation at the site raises very high concern.

It is essential that the State Party inform the World Heritage Centre, as soon as it is technically possible, of the situation at the site and confirm when, if at all, the implementation of the primary conservation and recovery measures identified by the 2011 Reactive Monitoring mission, can be commenced. An update on the situation and effect of the 2009 vandalization would be desirable in order to better define the way forward. Meanwhile, the responsible authorities should refrain from undertaking any corrective measures that have not been recommended by the 2011 Reactive Monitoring mission.

A new joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property would be desirable once the security conditions permit. Until then, the responsible authorities should regularly update the World Heritage Centre on the situation on the ground and implement, to the extent possible, the recommendations and requests of the Committee in its previous decisions.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.106

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/16/40.COM/7B and WHC/16/40.COM/7,
  2. Deplores the conflict situation prevailing in the country and the loss of human lives;
  3. Commends the State Party for making strong commitments for conservation of its properties but expresses its utmost concern with regard to the damage occurred and the threats to the five World Heritage properties of Libya;
  4. Considers that the optimal conditions required to ensure the conservation and protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of these properties are not present anymore and that the latter are, consequently, threatened by both ascertained and potential danger, in accordance with paragraphs 177 to 179 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  5. Decides, in conformity with Article 11.4 of the Convention and Paragraphs 177 and 179 of the Operational Guidelines, to inscribe the Archaeological Site of Cyrene, the Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna, the Archaeological Site of Sabratha, the Old Town of Ghadamès and the Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  6. Requests the State Party to systematically gather, to the extent possible, the information relating to all the damages to the World Heritage properties in order to document the state of conservation of these properties;
  7. Also requests the State Party to invite the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to carry out a mission to Libya as soon as the security conditions permit, in order to assess the state of conservation of the properties and elaborate, in consultation with the State Party, an action plan for their restauration;
  8. Further requests the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to prepare, as soon as the situation allows, the corrective measures as well as a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger, once a return to stability is effective in the country;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, a detailed report on the state of conservation of each of the five World Heritage properties of Libya, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.25

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.57, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  4. Expresses its high concern regarding the information provided by the Libyan heritage professionals during the International Expert Meeting on the Safeguarding of Libyan Cultural Heritage, on the state of conservation of the property in the prevailing situation;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit further information on the state of conservation of the property as soon as the security situation permits;
  6. Decides, in conformity with Article 11.4 of the Convention and Paragraphs 177 and 179 of the Operational Guidelines, to inscribe the Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  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.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 8C.1

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (WHC/16/40.COM/7B, WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add.2) and the proposals for inscription of properties on the World Heritage List (WHC/16/40.COM/8B and WHC/16/40.COM/8B.Add),
  2. Decides to inscribe the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decisions 40 COM 7B.24 and 40 COM 7B.106)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 40 COM 7B.106)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 40 COM 7B.106)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of the Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 40 COM 7B.106)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of the Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decisions 40 COM 7B.25 and 40 COM 7B.106)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 40 COM 7B.13)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 40 COM 8B.22)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 40 COM 7B.48).