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Archaeological Site of Cyrene

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • 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 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
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Not yet drafted

Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: June 2020: Netherlands Funds in Trust: USD 49,620 for Strengthening national capacities for the elaboration of corrective measures for Libyan World Heritage properties.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

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 2021

On 6 February 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, an updated version of which was submitted on 14 February 2021. The executive summaries of both reports are 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, as follows:

  • In 2019, a committee was established, as per Governmental Decision 155/2019, for the Management and Implementation of the Strategy for Preservation and Conservation of World Heritage properties in Libya;
  • Violations by local populations were reported in 2019 within the property boundaries and the buffer zone, including illegal construction, digging, shovelling and scribbling;
  • In the framework of the “Training for Action” programme, training activities were carried out enabling the study and documentation of urban encroachment affecting the property, including risk mapping and the documentation of thousands of artifacts from the museum and storerooms;
  • Urgent assistance and financial means are needed to control the pollution caused by the sewage disposal of Shahat City into the Wadi Belghade, which continues to affect the archaeological monuments;
  • No forest fires have been reported;
  • Several activities have been carried out for implementing the Conservation Strategy for the property, the finalization of the restoration works in the Temple Cemetery, awareness-raising activities targeting youth and the local population, seasonal archaeological excavations and training, acquisition of equipment for documentation purposes, and continued work with local communities for the conservation of the property;
  • Information on the Cyrene Grand Hotel project near the Temple of Zeus was provided;
  • Measures have been taken to address the illicit trafficing of cultural property and its recovery, thanks to international agreements. The Libyan Foreign Ministry is working on the ratification of the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995). However, due to the current circumstances, the ratification may be delayed;
  • An updated Minor Boundary Modification for the property was sent to the World Heritage Centre.

The State Party considered the March 2020 technical meeting with ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre successful as it enabled direct discussion and consultation. It has indicated its will to start drafting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

The State Party confirms its intention to call on the international community to provide further financial and technical support for the conservation of cultural heritage, including through the Heritage Emergency Fund of UNESCO. It also reiterates its invitation for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property and to provide technical advice.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The information provided by the State Party demonstrates its commitment to the conservation of the property, despite the difficulties. Efforts in addressing urban encroachment are welcome and need to continue given that it is one of the major threats to the property.

The pollution caused by the sewage disposal of Shahat City into the Wadi Belghade needs to be addressed to avoid more damage to the archaeological site.

More detailed and technical information on the proposed Cyrene Grand Hotel near the Temple of Zeus 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 States Parties 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.

The improvement of the security situation may provide the State Party with more means to undertake the necessary actions for the conservation and protection of the property. It is recommended that the State Party continues its important efforts in line with the Action Plan that was developed during the International Expert Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage, held in Tunis in May 2016 (report available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1496). It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide information on progress made in the implementation of this Action Plan and to start developing corrective measures and the DSOCR, on the basis of the aforementioned Action Plan, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies. Further detailed information and documentation on the planned Cyrene Grand Hotel, including the rationale for its proposed location, is necessary to better understand the project and its potential impact on the property before any decision about its implementation is taken. It is recommended that the State Party submit an International Assistance request for a guided Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on the project.

It is essential that the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission invited by the State Party and requested by the Committee at its previous sessions is undertaken as soon as security conditions permit, in order to evaluate the state of conservation of the property. 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.

It is therefore recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.11
Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) (C 190)
Decision: 44 COM 7A.11

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.23, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes with appreciation the efforts undertaken by the State Party to address conservation threats at the property and in fundraising activities that have led to projects aimed at the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; and requests it to continue its efforts in this regard to the extent possible;
  4. Also requests the State Party to provide further detailed information and documentation on the proposed Cyrene Grand Hotel near the Temple of Zeus, to evaluate the submission of an International Assistance request to carry out a guided Heritage Impact Assessment study and to keep the Committee regularly informed on the evolution of the situation at the property, and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, on any other on-going and 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;
  5. Further requests the State Party to provide updated information about the damage caused by pollution sewage disposal of Shahat city into Wadi Belghade;
  6. Requests furthermore the State Party to report on any progress achieved in the implementation of the Action Plan developed during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  7. Requests moreover the State Party to initiate the process to develop a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Encourages the State Party to pursue the development of the Management Plan for the property, and invites it to seek the necessary technical and financial support;
  9. Welcomes the work in progress for the elaboration of a Minor Boundary Modification proposal, and requests in addition the State Party to continue the close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and to submit it in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Acknowledgesthe 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;
  11. Callsfor 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);
  12. Reiterates its appealto all States Parties 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 acknowledges the efforts of  the State Party to ratify the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects;
  13. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session;
  14. Decides to retain the Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 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/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  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 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.11

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.23, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes with appreciation the efforts undertaken by the State Party to address conservation threats at the property and in fundraising activities that have led to projects aimed at the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; and requests it to continue its efforts in this regard to the extent possible;
  4. Also requests the State Party to provide further detailed information and documentation on the proposed Cyrene Grand Hotel near the Temple of Zeus, to evaluate the submission of an International Assistance request to carry out a guided Heritage Impact Assessment study and to keep the Committee regularly informed on the evolution of the situation at the property, and to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre, on any other on-going and 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;
  5. Further requests the State Party to provide updated information about the damage caused by pollution sewage disposal of Shahat city into Wadi Belghade;
  6. Requests furthermore the State Party to report on any progress achieved in the implementation of the Action Plan developed during the International Meeting on the Safeguard of Libyan Cultural Heritage (Tunis, May 2016);
  7. Requests moreover the State Party to initiate the process to develop a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Encourages the State Party to pursue the development of the Management Plan for the property, and invites it to seek the necessary technical and financial support;
  9. Welcomes the work in progress for the elaboration of a Minor Boundary Modification proposal, and requests in addition the State Party to continue the close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and to submit it in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Acknowledgesthe 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;
  11. Callsfor 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);
  12. Reiterates its appealto all States Parties 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 acknowledges the efforts of  the State Party to ratify the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects;
  13. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session in 2022;
  14. Decides to retain the Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
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 (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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