1.         Hatra (Iraq) (C 277rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2015-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 3,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted (for all World Heritage Sites of Iraq):

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

In January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/documents. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

On 22 November 2017, the State Party shared with UNESCO a report on Hatra, intended to support a project proposal for the property’s conservation and restoration. This report provides some details of the damage to the property, as assessed during a mission carried out on 9 September 2017, summarized as follows:

The State Party states that the current security situation is stable, thus allowing conservation, restoration and reconstruction work to be initiated on the ground. It highlights the need for technical missions to conduct a central assessment of the damage incurred at World Heritage properties, as was done with the technical mission to Palmyra in April 2016, after its liberation. It recommends engagement with UNESCO, the international community, universities and scientific institutions to fulfil the international commitments that have been made, and to address long-term shortcomings in the areas of management and protection. It also recommends convening an international conference on Iraqi heritage, to be followed by donor countries. It further recommends enforcing prohibitions on illicit trafficking of cultural property from Iraq.

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

The damages incurred at the property and the continuing absence of information about the state of conservation of the property remains of very grave concern.

The mission carried out by Iraqi authorities in September 2017 provides a general assessment of the damage incurred at this property. The State Party has prepared a project proposal for the conservation and restoration of Hatra and is actively fundraising for this project. A detailed plan for the property with short-, medium- and long-term conservation and protection goals and actions will be required.

Until such a comprehensive project has been developed, the State Party needs to take emergency protection measures that would prevent looting and further damages to the property. However, any protection and emergency stabilisation work should be undertaken only in cases where collapse or further damage is imminent, and according to the principle of minimal intervention. It is recommended that the Committee invite the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to further assess the damages and to discuss with the Iraqi authorities the short-, medium- and long-term goals and actions required to protect Hatra from further damage and looting, as well as to develop a more complete and detailed damage assessment in support of a comprehensive project for the conservation and restoration of the property.

It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to revisit the national and international initiatives for the safeguarding and restoration of cultural heritage in the liberated areas of Iraq, with the objective of finding ways forward to start implementing the priority actions and securing the needed resources as urgently as possible.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.34, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Acknowledges the damage assessment undertaken by the Iraqi authorities and underlines the need for a detailed damage assessment followed by a comprehensive project for the conservation and protection of the property;
  4. Encourages the State Party to pursue efforts to protect the property, despite the difficult prevailing situation, and in particular to prevent looting and further damages to the property, as outlined at the International Coordination Conference on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq (UNESCO, February 2017), with the support of UNESCO and the international community;
  5. Invites the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  6. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to further assess damages and to discuss with the Iraqi authorities the short-, medium- and long-term goals and actions required to protect the property from further damage and looting, as well as a more complete and detailed damage assessment in support of a comprehensive project for the conservation and restoration of the property;
  7. Urges all parties associated with the situation in Iraq to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural and natural heritage of the country and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage;
  8. Reiterates its appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Iraq as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 of February 2015, 2253 of December 2015 and 2347 of March 2017;
  9. Calls again on all Member States of UNESCO to support emergency safeguarding measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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;
  11. Decides to retain Hatra (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: