1.         Archaeological Site of Ani (Türkiye) (C 1518)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2016

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

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/1518/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1518/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of inscription in 2016:

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1518/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 November 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1518/documents/, and addresses recommendations made at the time of the inscription of the property in 2016 (Decision 40 COM 8B.28). Updated information and planning timeframes have been provided for archaeological investigations and conservation projects for a number of listed structures, and progress has included a range of activities, as follows:

The Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) was adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017) (Decision 41 COM 8B.49).

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

Progress has occurred in relation to a number of recommendations made at the time of the property’s inscription in 2016. The completion of the Landscape Project will improve site presentation, while the State Party has revised information boards to provide a more comprehensive overview, including information about the Armenian cultural history of Ani in the post-1918 period. Details of the changes made have not been provided, but this should be continued in future site presentation activities.

A database for collating information from archaeological excavations has been established to improve the documentation of the property. The State Party’s approach, in relation to the natural landscape and underground spaces, has been to clarify the provisions for the use of the area within the 3rd Degree Archaeological Conservation site. New developments and building activities are allowed under certain conditions, but quarrying is not permitted. While these clarifications are welcome, there is also a continuing need to improve the documentation of the property and its buffer zone.

The integrity of this property is highly vulnerable due to the widespread and serious structural problems of stability, missing fabric due to seismic action or vandalism, and lack of sustainable restoration strategy. The State Party’s approach is to consolidate the elements and prevent further deterioration, before making further conservation plans. A table outlining the implementation of short-term actions has been provided, including: the conservation projects for the Prikitch Church, Cathedral, City Walls and Seljukian Palace; urgent repairs and protective measures to Surp Arekelot’s Church; building of a visitor centre, parking and transportation infrastructure; and landscape works and measures for public safety and access.

The tables that have been provided and which outline the implementation process of the Master Plan (2016-2021) and the archaeological and conservation works planning (2016-2040) are welcomed. However, it is recommended that the State Party prioritise among urgent interventions by undertaking a comprehensive needs assessment and incorporating it into the site management and monitoring systems. The details about these plans need to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, especially for the planned conservation works, which have to be reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

While grazing is prohibited within the 1st Degree Archaeological Conservation site, there is inappropriate use of pasture areas and the rock-cut caves in Bostanlar Creek and Arpaçay Creek. The State Party attributes the identified problems to a lack of local awareness. Some awareness raising and monitoring measures have been implemented to prevent animals entering the property. Efforts to find longer-term sustainable solutions should continue. 

The action taken by the State Party to establish compulsory HIA processes for all World Heritage properties and Tentative List sites in Turkey is welcomed, although further efforts could be required to ensure the effectiveness of this requirement, and the systematic incorporation of HIA within the management system. Monitoring for seismic activity has been undertaken during conservation interventions, however the continued work is needed given that the recommended monitoring plan for seismic activity will only be included in revisions to the Management Plan in 2020.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.30

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 8B.28, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Takes note of the progress undertaken by the State Party and requests it to continue to progress on the issues identified by the World Heritage Committee at the time of the inscription of the property, including:
    1. Documenting the natural landscape, urban development, architectural structures and underground spaces within the property and its buffer zone and ensuring their inclusion in the management system,
    2. Submitting details about the implementation process of the Master Plan (2016-2021) and the archaeological and conservation works planning (2016-2040), including for the conservation works in particular the project documents and visualizations, to the World Heritage Centre, for analysis by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    3. Completing a comprehensive needs assessment of each listed monument and identifying the required interventions and priorities, and incorporating these into the Strategic Conservation Master Plan as a basis for the short and long-term conservation and monitoring of the property,
    4. Developing longer-term monitoring of seismic activity,
    5. Finding longer-term and sustainable solutions for the current inappropriate grazing within the 1st Degree Archaeological Conservation site;
  4. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies.