1.         Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) (C 190)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2016-present

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

Conflict situation prevailing in the country

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/190/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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.

Decision Adopted: 43 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/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: