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Samarra Archaeological City

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
  • Weathering and lack of maintenance affecting the fragile structures
  • State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property

Corrective Measures for the property

 Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

Total amount granted: USD 100,000 from the Nordic World Heritage Fund for training and documentation aiming at the preparation of the Nomination File.

Total amount granted for all World Heritage Sites of Iraq:

  • USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 1.5 million by the Government of Japan (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 154,000 by the Government of Norway (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • EUR 300,000 by the Government of Italy (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 35,000 by the Government of the Netherlands (for cultural heritage, including World Heritage)
  • USD 100,000 Heritage Emergency Fund - support for Iraqi World Heritage properties
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

June 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 1 February 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/276/documents. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • The State Party notes that this report does not represent the full state of conservation report that had previously been requested for Samarra Archaeological City and other World Heritage properties that have been subjected to military operations and/or occupation by extremist armed groups;
  • No further damage assessment has been carried out subsequent to the documentation prepared by the Samarra Department of Antiquities mentioned in the previous state of conservation report;
  • The project announced in July 2015 to preserve the Great Mosque and its minaret has not begun;
  • World Heritage properties in Iraq continue to suffer from problems related to protection, management and land use, as well as lack of funding or foreign investment and inadequate social awareness of World Heritage.

On 30 March 2018, the State Party briefly reported that more than 200 m of enclosures of the northern site of Sur Ashnas have been damaged by explosions during combat in the City of Samarra, and that mortar shelling damaged the western side of the octagonal Qubbat al-Sulaybiyya, where a hole and cracks are visible.

The State Party feels 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 Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The continuing lack of information about the state of conservation of the property remains of very grave concern.

It is recommended that the Committee request again the State Party to submit, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a copy of the Samarra Department of Antiquities’ documentation that was mentioned in the previous state of conservation report. It is further recommended that the Committee reiterate its recommendation that a full and comprehensive assessment be carried out in close collaboration with the UNESCO Office for Iraq, as soon as security conditions permit and before any remedial actions are undertaken. As previously recommended, any required emergency stabilization work should adhere to the principle of minimal intervention.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.20
Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Expresses its very grave concern about the state of conservation of the property following intentional destructive acts;
  4. Notes with concern the continuing lack of information on the state of conservation of the property, and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about the situation on the ground;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party submit a copy of the Samarra Department of Antiquities’ documentation of the damage done to the affected monuments, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Encourages the State Party to continue to pursue efforts to ensure the protection of the property, despite the difficult prevailing situation;
  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 Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
42 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

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:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 42 COM 7A.1)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 42 COM 7A.2)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 42 COM 7A.5)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 42 COM 7A.8)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.45)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 42 COM 7A.9)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.46)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.47)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.48)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.49)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.50)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.51)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 42 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.44)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.40)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 42 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 42 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 42 COM 7A.21)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 42 COM 7A.22)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 42 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 42 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 42 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 42 COM 7A.26)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 42 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 42 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 42 COM 7A.14)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 42 COM 7A.15)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 42 COM 7A.3)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 42 COM 7A.54)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 42 COM 7A.27)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 42 COM 7A.29)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 42 COM 7A.28)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 42 COM 7A.10)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 42 COM 7A.11)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.55)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 42 COM 7A.6)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 42 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 42 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 42 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 42 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 42 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 42 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 42 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 42 COM 7A.16)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 42 COM 7A.7)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.56)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.42)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 42 COM 7A.4)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 42 COM 7A.12)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 42 COM 7A.37)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 42 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 42 COM 7A.39)
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.20

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Expresses its very grave concern about the state of conservation of the property following intentional destructive acts;
  4. Notes with concern the continuing lack of information on the state of conservation of the property, and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about the situation on the ground;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party submit a copy of the Samarra Department of Antiquities’ documentation of the damage done to the affected monuments, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Encourages the State Party to continue to pursue efforts to ensure the protection of the property, despite the difficult prevailing situation;
  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 Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2007-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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