Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Archaeological Site of Cyrene

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Crop production
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • 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 and sewage water pollution (Problem of discharge of sewage from the modern town into the Wadi Bel Ghadir)
  • Forest fires
  • 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 2019

Total amount granted: USD 15,000 for the European Project “Protection of Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Peace and Stability”

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

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 2019

On 8 February 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report. An executive summary of this report 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:

  • Urban encroachment has declined significantly in the property but has increased in the areas surrounding the archaeological sites. The affected areas include the Northern and Western necropolises and the extramural Demeter sanctuary. Several meetings and awareness-raising campaigns have been undertaken to encourage local residents to stop construction around the archaeological sites, which local residents have committed to do;
  • As part of the Protection and Conservation Strategy established in 2018, the Department of Antiquities (DoA) and the Urban Planning Authority are creating guidelines for land use within the buffer zone;
  • The boundary clarification adopted in 2018 has been shared with the Municipality of Shahat and the Urban Planning Authority for protection and conservation purposes. A proposal for a boundary modification has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for evaluation by the Advisory Bodies;
  • The pollution caused by sewage disposal into Wadi of Belghader continues to threaten the archaeological monuments;
  • The DoA and the Municipality of Shahat are working to address the issue of forest fires, another major threat to the property;
  • The Engineering Consulting Office for Utilities (ECOU) has prepared a proposal to build a hotel near the Temple of Zeus;
  • The Presidential Council has issued a decree for the creation of a special committee to follow up on illicit trafficking of cultural property. Bilateral memoranda of understanding with several countries on this matter are envisaged. Important work with Arab and European security agencies and Interpol to limit illicit trafficking has been achieved. In close cooperation with the Spanish authorities, efforts are underway to return a “funerary statue” smuggled from Cyrene.

The State Party intends to call on the international community to provide more financial and technical support for the conservation of its cultural heritage, and has formally invited a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The information provided by the State Party demonstrates its commitment to the conservation of the property, despite the prevailing conflict. Progress is being made regarding the analysis of the situation and the implementation of remedial actions. Although urban encroachment within the property has decreased, the significant increase around the archaeological sites remains a major concern.

The lack of effective management and the evolving security conditions make the conservation of the property difficult. Updated information about the damage caused by pollution and forest fires, two major areas of concern, is needed. Information on the proposed Shahat Grand Hotel near the Temple of Zeus also needs to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The effort made to clarify the property’s boundary is recognized as an indispensable step towards its effective protection and management. The ongoing close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in defining an appropriate buffer zone is appreciated. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue this cooperation, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines.

The important efforts carried out by the State Party against the illicit trafficking of its cultural heritage are welcomed. It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate its appeal to the Member States of UNESCO to support these efforts by providing funds and specialized assistance to continue urgent conservation activities, and to cooperate in the fight against illicit trafficking and the protection of Libyan cultural heritage.

On the occasion of the third cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise, the State Party indicated its willingness to start the elaboration of management plans for all five of its World Heritage properties, and will seek international support to achieve this objective. It also reported an increasing awareness by civil society, local and national authorities, and high-level decision-makers about the necessity to protect cultural heritage in Libya, including World Heritage properties. The organization of workshops and symposiums on the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties has emphasized the importance of their protection and conservation, linking national identity with cultural heritage.

It is therefore further recommended that the State Party’s important efforts to conserve this property are oriented in line with the action plan that was developed during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage, held in Tunis in May 2016 (report is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1496), and building on the short-, medium- and long-term measures identified during that meeting.

The recent escalation of violence raises much concern about the sustainability of the efforts made to conserve the Archaeological Site of Cyrene, as it prevents the State Party from undertaking the necessary actions to ensure its protection and conservation. It remains essential that the joint mission invited by the State Party and requested by the Committee at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively, takes place as soon as the security conditions permit. In the meantime, it is important that the State Party pursue its efforts to keep the Committee, through 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.

Considering the above-mentioned information, it is recommended that the Committee retains the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7A.23
Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) (C 190)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made for the conservation of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in close coordination with local communities and civil society, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground, and urges it to continue its efforts in this regard to the degree possible;
  4. Requests the State Party to keep the Committee regularly informed about the evolution of the situation at the property and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the OUV of the property, including the proposed construction of a hotel near the Temple of Zeus, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Also requests the State Party to provide updated information about the damage caused by pollution and forest fires;
  6. Encourages the State Party to continue the finalization of the Minor Boundary Modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Acknowledges the invitation from the State Party for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, and also encourages it to take place as soon as the security conditions permit;
  8. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short-, medium- and long-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  9. Reiterates its appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural property coming from Libya and 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 Property in the Event 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 ratify the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects;
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  11. Decides to retain Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
43 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/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  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 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Commends the State Party for the important efforts made for the conservation of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in close coordination with local communities and civil society, despite the prevailing unstable situation and difficult working conditions on the ground, and urges it to continue its efforts in this regard to the degree possible;
  4. Requests the State Party to keep the Committee regularly informed about the evolution of the situation at the property and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, of any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the OUV of the property, including the proposed construction of a hotel near the Temple of Zeus, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Also requests the State Party to provide updated information about the damage caused by pollution and forest fires;
  6. Encourages the State Party to continue the finalization of the Minor Boundary Modification in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Acknowledges the invitation from the State Party for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, and also encourages it to take place as soon as the security conditions permit;
  8. Calls for an increased mobilization of the international community to provide financial and technical support to the State Party, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, to implement the short-, medium- and long-term measures identified during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  9. Reiterates its appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural property coming from Libya and 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 Property in the Event 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 ratify the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects;
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  11. Decides to retain Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2019
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 (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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.


top