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Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • On-going development projects
  • Management systems/management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

June-July 2014: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 18 March 2016, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1397/documents/. It reports on progress made to address the concerns raised by the Committee at the property as follows:

  • Revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project: new revised plans, submitted at the request of the Committee, confirm that there is no structural connection between the new galleries and the historic walls of the mosque. The north opening of the new Meydan-e Atiq, through which much of the pedestrian passage is expected, will feature arched openings in the gallery along with a redesigned entrance gate, foreseen in the middle of the north-western side of the square.
  • Strengthening of the protection for the buffer zone and the property’s wider setting and Integrated Conservation and Management Plan: the development of the Management Plan is still ongoing. Efforts have been made towards identifying and monitoring various factors that could have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its surroundings. This work shall directly inform the Management Plan and the Action Plan announced by the State Party in its report.
  • Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs): the approval of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organisation (ICHHTO) is necessary for all new projects in the area. ICHHTO also carries out impact assessments prior to granting its approval. Such evaluations are ongoing for the northern section of the Meydan-e Atiq, in the immediate vicinity of the property, the historic bazaar and the Khiyar caravanserai, and that several experts have been tasked with producing assessments of plans submitted to the ICCHTO and their potential impact on the surroundings of the Masjed-e Jame and the property’s OUV.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The strong commitment of the State Party to revise the Meydan-e Atiq project, taking into consideration the structural, safety and design issues raised by the Committee, should be noted. According to the State Party’s report, no structural connection is foreseen between the new galleries and the historic walls of the mosque. The concerns of the 2014 ICOMOS Advisory mission have also been taken into account with regard to the revision of the north and north-western side of the Meydan-e Atiq square, and it is recommended that the Committee welcome the progress made with the revision of this project.

However, the State Party has not dealt with the issue of the relation between the Masjed-e Jame and its traditional setting, nor how new buildings or projects within the buffer zone could irreversibly alter the character of the property’s traditional historic setting. When carrying out its assessments, ICHHTO is strongly encouraged to thoroughly consider the suitability of new projects, especially with regard to their correlation to the property’s historic settings, in keeping with the ICOMOS’s various international charters and recommendations. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to report on any project that could have an impact on the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The 2014 Advisory mission also highlighted the need for further archaeological excavations and expressed concerns about the potential impacts of vibrations from the underground road section in the immediate vicinity of the property. The mission further recommended that the potential atmosphere and noise pollution, as well as the impact of vibrations on the static behaviour of the Mashed-e Jame structures be monitored regularly. These questions have not been addressed in the State Party’s report and it is recommended that the Committee highlight the need for the State Party to address these questions, notably in the framework of the upcoming Management Plan.

At the 38th session of the Committee (Doha, 2014), it was reported that the property’s buffer zone has been integrated into the Isfahan Master Plan, and in view of this, the Committee requested the State Party to develop, as a matter of urgency, an Integrated Conservation and Management Plan (ICMP) to manage the urban development plan as well as the revitalization plan for the historic axis of Isfahan. The State Party indicates that the development of this ICMP is still in progress, although encouraging progress has been reported with the identification of the factors impacting the OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its request that the State Party proceed with the finalization and adoption of the ICMP, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.37
Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan (Iran, Islamic Republic of) (C 1397)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.15, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the progress made by the State Party with the revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project, taking into account the Committee’s previous requests, and notes with satisfaction that no structural connection is foreseen between the new galleries and the historic walls of the mosque or the structures connected to the mosque walls;
  4. Strongly encourages the State Party to take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property when evaluating the suitability of new projects in the vicinity of the Masjed-e Jame, especially with regard to their correlation to the property’s historic environment;
  5. Reiterates its recommendation that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV, be carried out for any future development in the buffer zone, in particular if these are intended to be directly attached to the mosque complex or would be located in its immediate vicinity; and requests that before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, the State Party inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any project which may affect the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on potential atmosphere and noise pollution generated by the urban revitalization projects around the property, as well as on the potential impacts of vibrations from the underground road on the static behaviour of the Mashed-e Jame structures, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to finalize, as a matter of urgency, an Integrated Conservation and Management Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review, before proceeding with its adoption;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.37

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.15, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the progress made by the State Party with the revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project, taking into account the Committee’s previous requests, and notes with satisfaction that no structural connection is foreseen between the new galleries and the historic walls of the mosque or the structures connected to the mosque walls;
  4. Strongly encourages the State Party to take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property when evaluating the suitability of new projects in the vicinity of the Masjed-e Jame, especially with regard to their correlation to the property’s historic environment;
  5. Reiterates its recommendation that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV, be carried out for any future development in the buffer zone, in particular if these are intended to be directly attached to the mosque complex or would be located in its immediate vicinity; and requests that before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, the State Party inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, of any project which may affect the OUV of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on potential atmosphere and noise pollution generated by the urban revitalization projects around the property, as well as on the potential impacts of vibrations from the underground road on the static behaviour of the Mashed-e Jame structures, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to finalize, as a matter of urgency, an Integrated Conservation and Management Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review, before proceeding with its adoption;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Report year: 2016
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Date of Inscription: 2012
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .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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