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Archaeological Site of Cyrene

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Crop production
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Surface water pollution
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage (Inadequate protection leading to threat to rock-hewn monumental tombs, vandalism and the development of agricultural activities in the rural zone)
  • Governance
  • Housing (Urban encroachment and uncontrolled building construction leading to destruction of archaeological areas)
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities (Need for a presentation and interpretation system for visitors and the local population)
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Crop production
  • Management activities (Inappropriate earlier restoration work)
  • Management systems / management plan (Need to complete the Conservation and Management Plan in order to co-ordinate actions in the short- and medium-term; Need to provide a detailed map at the appropriate scale showing the boundaries of the property and buffer zone, as well as regulatory measures foreseen to ensure the protection of the property; Inadequate on-site security and control systems) 
  • Surface water pollution (Problem of discharge of sewage from the modern town into the Wadi Bel Ghadir)
  • Conflict situation prevailing in the country
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Conflict situation prevailing in the country
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

European Project "Protection of Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Peace and Stability" USD 15,000

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

March 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; May 2006: World Heritage Centre Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; August 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • The Department of Antiquities of Cyrene (DOAC) has undertaken an administrative restructuring to address the problems that the property is facing. The DOAC has also addressed the excessive growth of vegetation in different parts of the property (the Odeon, the Apollo Sacred Area, the Eastern Church Cathedral and the Four Seasons mosaic) by undertaking participatory site cleaning activities, and has held workshops on documenting and inventorying archaeological artefacts;
  • On 1 July 2017 the Municipal Council issued Municipal Resolution No. 4.11.242, stopping construction works near the archaeological property, forbidding the entry of construction machinery into the property, and entrusting the police agencies, antiquities authorities, municipal guards and criminal investigation staff to enforce the Resolution;
  • Despite the difficulties faced, a map of the property showing the boundaries and the buffer zone has been submitted. The process of elaborating the map was based on field surveys, satellite images and consultations with the local population, which led to devising an action plan for protecting the property;
  • The DOAC considers that, in addition to its efforts and those of the local authorities and communities, the effective long-term conservation and management of the property will require stronger support from the international community to address infrastructure and services – in particular the sewage issue – and the housing needs in the urban area around the property;
  • A strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, based on Presidential Decree No. 1355/2017, is currently being implemented by the Engineering Consulting Office of Utilities (ECOU) under the supervision of the DOA. Funds have been allocated for the elaboration of the studies and plans needed to implement the strategy, which is based on eight pillars: protection from human encroachment; protection from natural factors; tourism; attracting and developing human resources; strengthening infrastructure and environment; recording and monitoring archaeological sites; supporting the environment; and administration.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The information provided by the State Party demonstrates its commitment for the conservation of the Archaeological Site of Cyrene despite the prevailing conflict in the country, and constitutes substantial progress in the analysis of the situation at the property and of the remedial actions taken so far. Despite this commitment, urban encroachment remains a major concern, having a considerable impact on the property’s integrity.

The efforts made to elaborate the maps, including the boundaries and the buffer zone, are recognized as an indispensable step forward for the protection and management of the property. The ongoing close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in this regard is highly appreciated. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue the close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, and submit a Boundary Clarification followed by a Minor Boundary Modification, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines for review by the Advisory Bodies.

The report does not mention whether it was possible to evaluate the existence of new settlements affecting the archaeological site. However, Municipal Resolution No 4.11.242 dated 1 July 2017, which is aimed at stopping construction work within the property, provides a legal protective framework that needs to be enforced. The coordination and dialogue with local communities on establishing an Action Plan on this issue and on delineating the boundary and buffer zone of the property is commendable, and its continuation is to be strongly encouraged.

The report is also silent on the request made by the Committee in 2017 to organize as soon as possible a technical workshop to explore ways for the monitoring and management of the property.

The current condition related to the lack of funds and human resources is regrettable, as it prevents the State Party from solving urban encroachment, addressing the sewage issue or undertaking substantial conservation works. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit an International Assistance request to address the pressing issues currently facing the property.

It is also recommended that the important efforts made by the State Party for the elaboration of a strategy for the protection of Libyan World Heritage properties build on the short- and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage held in Tunis in May 2016. The report is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1496.

Other sources report that there is an increasing awareness at the level of the civil society and local authorities about the necessity to protect cultural heritage in Libya, including the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. The meeting of the five-member Union of Libyan World Heritage Municipalities (Sabratha, March 2018) called for government measures to protect Libyan properties and stressed the need for coordination and coherence between the relevant authorities in this matter.

The continuous looting of Libyan cultural goods, especially from the Archaeological Site of Cyrene, is of great concern. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to the Convention to cooperate in the fight against illicit traffic and the protection of Libyan heritage.

It remains essential that the joint mission requested by the Committee at its 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st sessions (Doha, 2014; Bonn, 2015; Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016; Krakow, 2017) be sent to the property as soon as the security conditions permit. In the meantime, it is important that the State Party pursue its efforts to keep the World Heritage Centre updated on the situation on the ground, as well as on the further implementation of the measures it has launched, while addressing, to the extent possible, the comments and requests made by the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.22
Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) (C 190)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A[.ADD],
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.37 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made to elaborate the strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground;
  4. Notes with appreciation the issuing of a Municipal Resolution in 2017 to address urban encroachment at the property and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to eliminate encroachment;
  5. Also commends the State Party for the important advances in the definition of the buffer zone of the property, and encourages it to pursue the finalization of the boundary clarification and the minor boundary modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance request to address the pressing conservation and management issues, lack of funds and inadequate human resources that the property is currently facing;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and of any new measures undertaken to ensure its protection and conservation, and to continue to provide detailed information on the works carried out, including technical explanations justifying the interventions;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the security conditions permit;
  9. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide more financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  10. Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Libya, in engaging in the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and further encourages the State Party to consider ratifying the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects;
  11. 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;
  12. Decides to retain the Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) 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)
42 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 8D, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the boundaries of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
  4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are not able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed remain unclear;
  5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/18/42.COM/8D:

    ARAB STATES

    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

    • Netherlands, Defence Line of Amsterdam
    • Spain, Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

    • Haiti, National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers
    • Mexico, Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal;
  6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible, and by 1 December 2018 at the latest, for their subsequent examination, if the technical requirements are met, by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.22

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 41 COM 7A.37 and 41 COM 8C.2 adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made to elaborate the strategy to protect Libyan World Heritage properties, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground;
  4. Notes with appreciation the issuing of a Municipal Resolution in 2017 to address urban encroachment at the property and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to eliminate encroachment;
  5. Also commends the State Party for the important advances in the definition of the buffer zone of the property, and encourages it to pursue the finalization of the boundary clarification and the minor boundary modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance request to address the pressing conservation and management issues, lack of funds and inadequate human resources that the property is currently facing;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and of any new measures undertaken to ensure its protection and conservation, and to continue to provide detailed information on the works carried out, including technical explanations justifying the interventions;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the security conditions permit;
  9. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide more financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short and medium-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  10. Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Libya, in engaging in the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage during times of Armed Conflict and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and further encourages the State Party to consider ratifying the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects;
  11. 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;
  12. Decides to retain Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Libya
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2016-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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