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; USD 362,391 (2015-2017) from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation through the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)
Previous monitoring missions
2004: Evaluation mission by the UNESCO Office in Beirut; September 2006: UNESCO mission following the 2006 summer conflict; February 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; September 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2017: visit of the property by the World Heritage Centre
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Need for an international safeguarding campaign (issue resolved)
- Construction of a tourist complex (land fill of the bay) (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
- Lack of a maritime protection zone around the seashores of Tyre
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
On 1 December 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/documents/. Following this report, the World Heritage Centre visited the property in February 2017. The progress achieved concerning some of the conservation issues treated by the Committee at its previous session are presented, as follows:
- Management plan for the archaeological site: the General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA) has undertaken the preparation of a management plan of which the first stage is completed; its preparation continues;
- Maintenance practices concerning vegetation control and fire prevention: the situation has improved over the past two years with the increase of staff to ensure the execution of the Action Plan. The development of vegetation and the outbreak of fire have been reduced to a minimum this year. Measures are being undertaken to prevent the stagnation of water at the site;
- Safeguarding of the mosaics: several conservation projects have been implemented and others are ongoing in both parts of the site (city and necropolis), including in an important zone containing mosaics as well as in other areas experiencing conservation problems;
- The maritime protection zone is under preparation, the necessary data have been collected and a dialogue carried out with the concerned parties such as the municipality or the fishery syndicate of Tyre. The State Party announced that it would establish boundaries and the regulation to ensure the protection of potential underwater archaeology;
- Coordination for the implementation of the “Archaeological project of Baalbek and Tyre (BTAP)”, and the “Cultural Heritage and Urban Development” (CHUD) project: all the actions undertaken, and in particular those in the framework of the BTAP, have been reviewed by the UNESCO experts through close cooperation with the UNESCO Documentation and Advisory Services (UDAS) project that aims to support the DGA in the management of the archaeological sites of Baalbek and Tyre.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The report deals with diverse activities undertaken to ensure the monitoring of Decision 39 COM 7B.54 of the World Heritage Committee and the recommendations of the 2012 mission. The degree of precision of the report does not, however, provide an appreciation of the nature of the works carried out and their pertinence.
In February 2017, the World Heritage Centre visited the property and took note of the construction and development work in progress within the property in the framework of the BTAP and CHUD projects. This work, nearing completion, comprising: the establishment of a new visitor trail and the construction of security railings on the elevated areas, the construction of a multi-column shelter protecting a funeral structure, the renovation and extension of the museum, the laboratory, the boutique, the police post and the parking area located on the plot 1010 between the Avenue El Kouds and the archaeological zone of El Bass.
The World Heritage Centre noted that the major development works for the parking area had been completed and that the rubble resulting from the scraping of the surface area was stocked on the north side of the parking lot, without taking account of the comments of ICOMOS in September 2016 on this project. It is important to note that the parking area is implemented in an AR zone (archaeological) following urban zoning where work is not authorized. Moreover, the plot was proposed to be an integral part of the site in the report submitted by the State Party in 2013.
The construction of a shelter to protect an archaeological structure within the Necropolis was noted. This shelter comprises a large number of columns with very visible supports, that constitute an important visual impact. The DGA is not consulted regularly by the project managers in the decision-making process regarding possible negative impacts on the integrity of the project.
During the visit to the Tyre property in 2017, the manager indicated that various documents such as the management plan and the maps and plans of the site, including the boundary of the buffer zone in reference to Decision 37 COM 8B.45 of the Committee, was nearing completion and would be transmitted to the World Heritage Centre very shortly.
It is recommended that the Committee express its concern with regard to the development and construction works undertaken within the property, without taking into account the technical recommendations of ICOMOS, or without transmission of projects to the World Heritage Centre before their implementation. It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to implement the different points contained in Decision 39 COM 7B.54 and recommended by the 2012 mission.
Furthermore, it is recommended to reiterate the need to carry out a comprehensive study on traffic, indicating all the urban and roundabout road network projects, as well as Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) for the South Motorway and the Tel el-Maachouk interchange, and to submit this study to the World Heritage Centre, as indicated in Decision 36 COM 7B.52.
Finally, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission will be necessary to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and identify the measures required to improve its state of conservation.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.83
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decisions 37 COM 8B.45 and 39 COM 7B.54, adopted respectively at the 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions,
- Takes note of the progress made in the preparation of the Management Plan for the property and the conservation works concerning some zones of the site (including those containing the mosaics), vegetation control, fire prevention and the establishment of the maritime protection zone, encourages the State Party to continue this work and requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with the Management Plan, completing it based on the advice and recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, as soon as it is finalized;
- Regrets that the State Party has undertaken work that could have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in particular in the El Bass zone without having informed the World Heritage Centre in advance, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
- Also regrets that the State Party has not taken into account in the parking project the ICOMOS comments of September 2016 and also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a detailed report on the work undertaken and envisaged, for examination by the Advisory Bodies;
- Further regrets that the State Party has not yet responded to certain requests contained in Decision 39 COM 7B.54 and urges it to undertake the following actions:
- Ensure that the management structure becomes fully operational by securing adequate resources for all aspects of documentation, conservation and monitoring,
- Improve the current maintenance practices concerning drainage and sewage control through the establishment of appropriate preventive measures,
- Establish a safeguarding programme for detached mosaics and ensure their protection until a decision is taken on their conservation and restoration;
- Also urges the State Party to continue the implementation of the following:
- Continue the work to ensure the establishment of a maritime protection zone surrounding the seashores of Tyre,
- Monitor conservation interventions to assess their efficacy and use the monitor results to document the development of the conservation strategy,
- Continue to develop and implement the framework for coordination of the Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project (BTAP) and strengthen cooperation between the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA), the Cultural Heritage and Urban Development project (CHUD), the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to effectively monitor the design and implementation of the project,
- Submit to the World Heritage Centre an updated Action Plan;
- Reiterates its request to the State Party to initiate an in-depth study of the circulation, indicating all the urban and roundabout road network projects, as well as Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) for the South motorway and its Tel el-Maachouk interchange, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the Advisory Bodies;
- Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and identify the necessary measures to improve the state of conservation of the property and its management;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.