1.         Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Libya) (C 183)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)

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/183/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1990)
Total amount approved: USD 45,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/183/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 24,543 for the European Project “Protection of Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Peace and Stability”

Previous monitoring missions

1988: UNESCO mission; March 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; May 2006: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/183/

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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/183/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 requests the World Heritage Committee to remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and to this end 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. Nevertheless, the recent escalation of violence as well as a lack of funding is preventing the State Party from carrying out major conservation works. It is recommended that the Committee call upon the international community to support the State Party in its conservation efforts.

No information was submitted that addresses the deterioration of stone masonry or the control of graffiti. Measures reported by the State Party with regard to sand control, fire prevention and the discharge of domestic wastewater west of the property are welcome.

With the commencement of the third cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise, the State Party has expressed its willingness to initiate 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 on 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 effort made to clarify the property’s boundary is recognized as an indispensable step towards its protection and management. The ongoing close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS concerning the definition of a buffer zone is highly appreciated. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its appeal to the State Party to continue this cooperation, in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines.

It is recommended that the State Party’s important efforts to conserve the 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 available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1496), building on the short- and medium-term measures identified during that meeting.

The recent escalation of violence, raises much concern about the sustainability of the efforts made by the State Party in the conservation of the property, as the situation prevents the State Party from undertaking essential actions to protect and conserve the property. It remains crucial 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 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 retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7A.24

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.23, 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 extent possible;
  4. Also requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre regularly informed about the evolution of the situation at the property and of any new measures undertaken to ensure its protection and conservation, as well as any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the OUV of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  5. 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;
  6. Acknowledges the invitation from the State Party for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, to take place as soon as the security conditions permit;
  7. 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);
  8. Further 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;
  9. Decides to retain Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (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: