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

Archaeological Site of Sabratha

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Land conversion
  • Relative humidity
  • War
  • Other Threats:

    Impact of seawater salt on stone masonry

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Conflict situation prevailing in the country
  • Excessive vegetation growth
  • Natural Degradation
  • Urban encroachment
  • Impact of humidity and seawater salt on stone masonry
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 identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2019

Total amount granted: USD 25,000 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; January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring 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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/184/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • Several elements suffered minor damage in 2017 due to the armed conflict and the use of firearms within the property, the most prominent being the visual scarring of some parts of the Theatre. An agreement has recently been reached with a Spanish institution to restore the Theatre and to assess the damage to the mosaic floors at the property. The Department of Antiquities (DoA) has also been in contact with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regarding the future restoration work of key elements of the property. The UNDP has already provided support in assessing the required technical and financial support for the restoration of the main entrance to the property, the Punic museum, the Theatre and the storage house;
  • The DoA is in the process of securing funding and technical support from the international community and other specialized institutions to help address the ongoing natural degradation of the original building materials;
  • The State Party continues its year-round efforts to control vegetation growth. An area around the Rome Theatre has recently been cleared, and work is underway to clear the area around the mausoleums to help limit damage to the floor mosaics and monuments;
  • The DoA has participated in the “Training in Action” programme for capacity building in fields such as preventive conservation, management, recording and documentation;
  • The boundary clarification adopted in 2018 has been shared with the Municipality of Sabratha 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 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 and the lack of funds.

The damages incurred at the property due to the armed conflict, in conjunction with the difficulties to improve the situation and undertake appropriate protection and conservation measures, are of great concern. The property needs a comprehensive strategy for its management and conservation in order to better address the effects of the armed conflict, vandalism, urban encroachment, weathering (humidity, salt, seawater), decay of original materials and vegetation growth, among others.

The boundary clarification of the property adopted by the Committee in 2018 is recognized as an indispensable step towards its protection and management. The ongoing close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in defining an appropriate buffer zone is highly appreciated, particularly to address the urban encroachment issue. 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.

The efforts made by the State Party in fundraising and the technical cooperation agreements with other States Parties and United Nations agencies are much welcomed, but more support is needed. It is therefore recommended that the Committee call for the support of the international community for the conservation and protection of the property.

On the occasion of the third cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise, the State Party indicated its willingness to initiate the elaboration of management plans for its all five 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 recommended that the State Party’s important efforts for 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), and building on the short-, medium- and long-term measures identified during the meeting.

The recent escalation of violence raises much concern about the sustainability of the efforts made to conserve the property, 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 are undertaken as soon as the security conditions permit. In the meantime, it is important that the State Party pursues 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.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7A.25
Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Libya) (C 184)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.24, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Notes with appreciation the activities undertaken by the State Party to address the conservation threats at the property despite the numerous difficulties faced, and urges it to continue its efforts in this regard to the extent possible;
  4. Expresses concern over the damage incurred at the property due to the armed conflict, in particular to the Theatre, and requests the State Party to provide the results of the assessment and documentation of the damage;
  5. Recognizing the technical and financial difficulties that impede appropriate protection and conservation measures, also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on the measures undertaken to address urban encroachment and the degradation of original building material, as well as any new measures undertaken to ensure the protection and conservation of the property;
  6. Further requests the State Party to keep the Committee regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, on any ongoing and future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. 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;
  8. 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;
  9. 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);
  10. Requests furthermore 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 the Archaeological Site of Sabratha (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.25

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.24, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Notes with appreciation the activities undertaken by the State Party to address the conservation threats at the property despite the numerous difficulties faced, and urges it to continue its efforts in this regard to the extent possible;
  4. Expresses concern over the damage incurred at the property due to the armed conflict, in particular to the Theatre, and requests the State Party to provide the results of the assessment and documentation of the damage;
  5. Recognizing the technical and financial difficulties that impede appropriate protection and conservation measures, also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on the measures undertaken to address urban encroachment and the degradation of original building material, as well as any new measures undertaken to ensure the protection and conservation of the property;
  6. Further requests the State Party to keep the Committee regularly informed of the evolution of the situation at the property and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, on any ongoing and future plans for major restoration or new construction projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. 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;
  8. 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;
  9. 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);
  10. Requests furthermore 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 the Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2019
Libya
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)
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