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Site of Palmyra

Syrian Arab Republic
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Financial resources
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Illegal activities
  • Localised utilities
  • Major linear utilities
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Relative humidity
  • War
  • Other Threats:

    serious weathering of many stone blocks

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Before the conflict:

  • Temperature change (Serious weathering of many stone blocks due to capillary rising and variations in humidity and temperature)
  • Housing (Urban growth of the neighbouring agglomeration)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (International tarmac road crosses the site, heavy automobile and truck traffic inducing vibrations, pollution, and risk of accidents)
  • Major linear utility (Pipeline crossing the southern necropolis)
  • Localized utility (Brightly-coloured antenna on hill)
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (Construction of a hotel close to the thermal springs)
  • Management System/Management Plan (Lack of a management plan)

Since March 2011:

  • War (Destruction due to the armed conflict since March 2011)
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage (Perilous condition of the portico of the Temple of Bel and the Triumphal Arch)
  • Illegal activities (illegal excavations)
  • Financial resources (Lack of adequate funding for urgent conservation initiatives)
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Destruction as well as ascertained and potential threats consequent to the armed conflict in Syria started in March 2011

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 provided: 38 543 USD by the Flemish Government, 18 560 USD from the UNESCO Emergency Fund, 21 000 USD by the Government of the Netherlands

Total amount provided to the six Syrian World Heritage properties: 200,000 euros by the Italian Government; for built, movable and intangible heritage: 2.46 million Euros by the European Union, USD 170,000 by the Flemish Government, 63,000 Euros by the Austrian Government, USD 200,000 by the German Government; for cultural heritage under conflict: USD 200,000 by the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage in Bahrain

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 5 (from 1989-2005)
Total amount approved : 81,250 USD
2005 The Citadel of Palmyra-Repair works (Approved)   30,000 USD
2001 Photo exhibition on Syrian cultural heritage (Approved)   1,250 USD
1999 Establishing an overall management plan of Palmyra (1st ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1998 Management plan for Palmyra (Approved)   15,000 USD
1994 Palmyra: topographical and architectural studies to be ... (Not approved)   0 USD
1989 Contribution to a computer aided design conservation ... (Approved)   15,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

April 2016: World Heritage Centre Rapid Assessment mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 15 January 2020 and 7 January 2021, the State Party submitted state of conservation reports for the six Syrian World Heritage properties, which are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/23/documents/, and include updated information on progress and challenges relating to some of the conservation issues addressed by the Committee, as follows:

  • The State Party reports that despite the efforts of the government in recovering the city’s infractructure and schools, Palmyra is still mostly uninhabited;
  • Architectural remains are in danger of collapse and face serious deterioration and risk of critical failure. The Citadel, Temple of Bel and the Triumphal Arch require urgent intervention and consolidation;
  • Major challenges include the lack of funding, which prevents emergency interventions to take place at damaged structures in risk of futher collapse, and the lack of relevant documentation regarding the damaged monuments;
  • Despite this situation, efforts are being made by the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM): in October 2019, a damage assessment survey was undertaken, documenting 461 illegal excavations and pits. Some of the pits are reported to threaten the foundations of historic structures;
  • The DGAM’s vision for the recovery phase in Palmyra was presented during the “Technical Meeting on the Recovery of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra” on 18 December 2019 at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. The vision presents the key objectives for the recovery of the site, which includes engaging local communities in the recovery, undertaking conservation and restoration works according to international standards, reviving the memory of the site and developing short and long-term integrated planning;
  • A Ministerial Decree N° 258/A was issued in September 2019 to enhance the protection of the buffer zone, as recommended by the Word Heritage Committee in 2017 (Decision 41 COM 8B.51);
  • In November 2020, the DGAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Stone Industry of Russia for the restoration of the Triumphal Arch. In this framework, the DGAM requested the support of UNESCO for the creation of a scientific committee to review and provide inputs on project proposals and implementation;
  • In December 2020, the World Heritage Centre participated in a conference on the recovery of Palmyra, organized by the State Hermitage Museum in Saint-Petersburg.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

See General Decision 44 COM 24 of this Document on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic.

It is recommended that the Committee express its concerns about the high number of illegal excavations at the site highlighted by the damage assessment and about the risk of further damage to monuments which is exacerbated by the lack of funding available for emergency intervention and consolidation works.

The Technical Meeting on the Recovery of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra, organized by the World Heritage Centre in December 2019, was attended by over 30 international experts. This meeting focused on issues of reconstruction and recovery at the property. A number of recommendations were agreed, including the need for emergency interventions at specific monuments, carrying out  a detailed assessment of damaged structures as well as of the site as a whole, enhancing international coordination including for the return of looted objects, and making utmost use of modern technologies and digitized inventories for the benefit of scientific studies and documentation. An integrated conservation Management Plan should be prepared using a comprehensive participatory value-based approach, to include policies, strategies and actions to ensure the sustainable conservation of the property, taking into consideration the oasis setting. It was also agreed that the reconstruction works for monuments should not be undertaken in the immediate future, but that rehabilitation of the site museum is a priority and should be planned with a holistic interpretation approach to include all values associated with the site. The return of local communities and their re-connection with the property were also considered essential for the site’s recovery. Further detail of the results of the meeting and proposed future activities at the property are available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/news/2133. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to seek the support of the international community in implementing the recommendations of the technical meeting, which is aligned with its vision for the property. The World Heritage Centre has initiated exchanges with DGAM for the creation of an International Scientific Task Force for Palmyra that would review and provide inputs on project proposals and implementation, follow-up on the implementation of the World Heritage Committee decisions and ensure that technical requirements meet international standards.  It is recommended that the Committee remind the State Party of its obligation to transmit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by the Advisory Bodies, detailed information on future projects, including the proposed restoration of the Triumphal Arch, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Given the challenges facing the property and the interest of the international community, it is highly desirable that the invited joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission take place as soon as the situation allows, to enable a comprehensive assessment of the state of conservation of the property. It would be appropriate to initiate a process for the identification of a set of corrective measures and the development of a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for consideration by the Committee, preferably in conjunction with this mission.




24.       General Decision on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic

Current conservation issues

The armed conflict in Syria started in March 2011 and escalated leading to significant violence and degradation of humanitarian conditions. It has inflicted damage on the inscribed properties as well as on the 12 sites inscribed on the Tentative List. Sites have been damaged by shelling, fires, extensive illegal excavations, military use, construction violations, in addition to intentional targeted destruction of cultural property by armed groups, and inappropriate use of archaeological sites by internally displaced populations. Some sites remain at risk as a result of the conflict.

On 15 January 2020 and 7 January 2021, the State Party submitted state of conservation reports, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/44COM/documents/#state_of_conservation_reports. These reports represent official statements by the Syrian authorities and collate available information from the various branches of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) up to 31 December 2020. In some areas, access to heritage sites is extremely limited. In particular, the property of the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria remains inaccessible, preventing full understanding of the extent of damage to this site and reliance on third party documentation.

The State Party has reported on actions carried out by the DGAM, despite the difficult working conditions. These comprise monitoring World Heritage properties and cultural heritage in general, and assessing damage, including some very detailed reporting for the Ancient City of Bosra, the Ancient City of Aleppo, and the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din. Emergency conservation and risk mitigation actions have occurred whenever possible as well as restoration and reconstruction activities, in particular at the properties of the Ancient City of Aleppo, and the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din. At the site of the Ancient City of Damascus, which suffered to a lesser extent as a result of the conflict, the State Party has resumed regular conservation and management activities, in parallel to the emergency works undertaken at the ancient city wall. The State Party reports emphasise that the reasons for which the Ancient City of Damascus and the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger no longer apply. The reports also stress the extreme financial difficulties that the DGAM is facing in its efforts to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage, in addition to the limited international funding provided to support these efforts.

Updated information on the conservation of sites inscribed on the Tentative List was also provided in the report, indicating the following:

  • At the sites of the ‘Arwad Island’, ‘Maaloula’ ‘Noreas of Hama’, ‘Tartus: The Crusaders Citadel-City’ and ‘Ugrarit (Tell Shamra)’ restoration and maintenance works are being undertaken. In particular, in Maaloula, local communities are being consulted in view of the elaboration of a nomination file for the site. At Arwad Island, no new development concerning the tourism project has been reported;
  • Access to the sites ‘Apamea (Afamia)’, ‘Mari (Tell Hariri) and Dura Europos’ and ‘Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi, a Desert Castle’ is still limited owing to the presence of landmines;
  • Drone images were taken for ‘Dura Europos’ and ‘Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi, a Desert Castle’ in September 2019, ‘Mari (Tell Hariri)’ in September 2019 and October 2020, and ‘Ebla (Tell Mardikh)’ in May 2020, confirming extensive looting and damage;
  • No information could be reported for the site of ‘Raqqa-Rafiqa and The Abbasid City’.

The report highlights requests by the DGAM for technical support for updating the Syrian Tentative List, initiating the process of nomination for the site of ‘Maaloula’, and carrying out assessment surveys at the sites of ‘Apamea (Afamia)’, ‘Mari (Tell Hariri) and Dura Europos’ and ‘Qasr al-Hayr ach-Charqi, a desert Castle’.

Activities undertaken by UNESCO

  • Since the 43rd session of the Committee (Baku, 2019), UNESCO has pursued actions to assist sustained efforts to safeguard cultural heritage of Syria;
  • At the international level, UNESCO continues to raise awareness of the international community on the destruction of cultural heritage of Syria, in the framework of the implementation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2199 (February 2015) and Resolution 2347 (March 2017) recognizing the importance of heritage protection for peace and security;
  • At the national level, UNESCO has monitored the situation of Syrian cultural heritage, raised awareness on its protection, undertaken actions to safeguard it, and coordinated work of national and international entities;
  • The UNESCO-UNITAR joint publication “Five years of Conflict: the State of Cultural Heritage in the Ancient City of Aleppo” launched in November 2018 has been translated into Arabic and French, and is available at https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000265826;
  • Another joint publication with UNITAR “Ten Years of Conflict: the State of Conservation of cultural heritage in Syria” is under preparation, with funding support from the States Parties of Germany and Norway. It is planned to be launched in 2021;
  • The World Heritage Centre, with the support of the State Party of the Netherlands, organized a Technical Meeting on the Recovery of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra on 18 December 2019 at UNESCO Headquarters, which was attended by over 30 international experts. This meeting focused on issues of reconstruction and recovery at the property, and a number of recommendations were agreed (see https://whc.unesco.org/en/news/2133);
  • An International Assistance request has been approved for Qal’at Salah El-Din (March 2020). This assistance will facilitate systematic documentation of damage incurred at Qal’at Salah El-Din, implementation of risk mitigation measures, and elaboration of a conservation Management and Master Plan for the site and its surroundings. The International Assistance request approved for the Crac des Chevaliers in January 2019 is still under implementation;
  • An Emergency International Assistance request has been approved for Safeguarding the Damascus Ancient City Wall and the Adjacent Urban Fabric (the area between Bab al-Salam and Bab Touma). This assistance facilitates documentation work, the implementation of risk mitigation measures, and the elaboration of a restoration project for the collapsed portion of the wall.

In the framework of the Italian Funds-in-Trust project entitled “Reinforcing Cultural Heritage Protection in Syria, and in the Ancient City of Bosra in particular as a follow up to the World Heritage Committee Decisions” (200 000 Euros), a technical assistance workshop was initially organized in Beirut in October 2019, in order to assess ongoing emergency interventions undertaken by the DGAM at the Ancient City of Bosra, the Ancient City of Damascus and at the Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din. The meeting was also intended to provide advice on recovery interventions, and to initiate elaboration of the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). Owing to the prevailing security situation in Lebanon at the time, the workshop could not take place, so it was rescheduled for March 2020 in Amman (Jordan), but again could not take place because of the prevailing sanitary conditions restricting travel and meetings. The workshop will still take place as soon as health conditions allow. Nevertheless, initial work on DSOCRs for some of the Syrian World Heritage properties was initiated remotely, through exchanges between the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and the DGAM. Online meetings were organized on 19 November 2020, 15 February and 3 May 2021. The DSCOR for the Ancient City of Damascus was finalized in May 2021, and the process is regarded as a successful ‘pilot project’ for proceeding with the implementation of the DSOCR process in circumstances when a Reactive Monitoring mission is not possible.

Activities undertaken by the Advisory Bodies

ICOMOS has actively participated in the above ‘pilot project’ to devise the document for the DSOCR of the Ancient City of Damascus and related corrective measures. Although this process has facilitated the preparation of the DSOCR, it remains desirable that a Reactive Monitoring mission take place as soon as circumstances allow. ICOMOS has also participated in preliminary steps to follow a similar approach for Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din, and it is expected that preliminary work on the DSOCR for the Ancient City of Bosra and for the Site of Palmyra will be initiated subsequently.

ICOMOS made presentations on Syrian heritage in the context of several meetings, as follows: Conference on "Reconstruction and Recovery of Towns after war damage in the different parts of the world. Theory, methodology, practice", International Committee on Historic Cities, Towns and Villages (CIVVIH), September 2019 (Poland); “Bouncing back after the drama: heritage and resilience" Institut National du Patrimoine Blue Shield France, January 2020 (France); “Private actors/institutional actors, which mission, which methods?" Institut National du Patrimoine – École du Louvre, February 2021 (France); "A Hundred/Thousand Years: Genealogies and Perspectives of the National Museum of Damascus", Institut national d'histoire de l'art, April 2021 (France).

ICOMOS members also contributed to the publication “After Hour Zero – learning from post-war experiences for Syria? Preservation of historical monuments, archaeology and urban planning as an international task)", German Archaeology Institute (DAI), November 2019 (Germany).

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The situation of armed conflict in Syria has affected the six World Heritage properties and has substantially limited capacities to sustain and protect their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The properties have been increasingly threatened by ascertained and potential dangers.

Illegal excavations across archaeological sites and tels in Syria are causing extensive and irreversible damage to those sites, a number of which are on Syria’s Tentative List. They are also a major source for the illicit trafficking of cultural property, providing looted artifacts to be sold in regional and international black markets.

It is recommended that the Committee commend the DGAM, heritage professionals in Syria and local communities who have made sustained efforts in monitoring and protecting cultural heritage, and implementing first aid measures for its safeguarding, despite the very difficult situation.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will continue to support the State Party in the identification of the necessary corrective measures and in the development of DSOCRs, and have been successfully pursuing more flexible approaches and online engagement that have demonstrated that the preparation of DSOCRs can be progressed, despite the current circumstances and inability to schedule Reactive monitoring missions at this time.

It is important that humanitarian and security related actions be carried out in coordination with cultural heritage stakeholders, to avoid further irreversible damages to the properties, and allow for undertaking first aid measures for its cultural heritage. Furthermore, it is recommended that systematic documentation of all damage incurred at World Heritage properties be pursued, whenever the situation allows, and that the Committee reiterate its call to the State Party to continue to safeguard damaged properties through minimal first aid interventions to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation, and to refrain from undertaking other measures until the situation allows for the development of a comprehensive strategy and action plan that respond to international standards and high-quality scientific methods.

It is recommended that the Committee further encourage the State Party to plan for the future of the World Heritage properties according to international conservation charters and standards, in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, also taking into consideration the 2018 Warsaw Recommendation on Recovery and Reconstruction. It is also appropriate to remind the State Party of its obligation to transmit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by the Advisory Bodies, detailed information on future projects, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

It is recommended that the Committee also call for international and national heritage professionals to continue to unite for the safeguarding of Syria’s cultural heritage; and to further support its safeguarding through earmarked funds and contributions to the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund.

Until conditions improve, it is recommended that the Committee repeat its previous call for all parties associated with the conflict in Syria to refrain from any action that could further damage the heritage of the country, in particular all World Heritage properties and sites included on the Tentative List, and to fulfil their obligations under international law, especially the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, in part by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage and preventing any damage that may result from targeting World Heritage properties, and support recovery plans that are based on community participation, sustainability and inclusion.

It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate its suggestion that the State Party consider ratifying the Second Protocol (1999) of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

It is further recommended that the Committee also call upon all parties associated with the conflict in Syria and the international community, in particular the countries neighboring Syria, to ensure effective measures for the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2199.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.23
Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic) (C 23bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 43 COM 7A.36 and 43 COM 7A.37, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Taking into account Decision 44 COM 7A.24, on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic,
  4. Expresses its concern that extensive illegal excavation took place at the site and calls upon the international community to collaborate for the sharing of inventories and documentation that could facilitate the return of looted objects;
  5. Also expresses its concern that monuments at the property remain at serious risk of further collapse owing to lack of funding for emergency interventions including consolidation works;
  6. Takes notes of the technical meeting, organized by the World Heritage Centre in December 2019, which elaborated a set of recommendations on optimal approaches for the recovery of the site with the international community of experts, and in particular highlighting the necessity to:
    1. Urgently undertake emergency interventions at damaged monuments,
    2. Carry out detailed assessment of damaged structures as well as of the property as a whole,
    3. Make utmost use of modern technologies and digitized inventories for the benefit of scientific studies and documentation,
    4. Refrain from reconstructing any monument in the immediate future, with the exception of the rehabilitation of the Site Museum that should be planned within a holistic approach that takes into consideration the interpretation of all values associated with the site,
    5. Instigate the preparation of an integrated conservation management plan through a comprehensive participatory value-based approach, to include policies, strategies and actions to ensure the sustainable conservation of the property, also taking into consideration the oasis setting,
    6. Continue to encourage, by all means, the return of local communities,
    7. Support the creation of an International Scientific Task Force for the recovery of the property;
  7. Expresses its appreciation to the Russian Federation for organizing the conference on the recovery of Palmyra at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg;
  8. Requests the State Party to implement the above-mentioned recommendations of the UNESCO technical meeting, and the recommendations of the 2016 UNESCO Technical Assistance Workshop, in particular concerning the emergency consolidation measures, and to seek funding to support these activities;
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by ICOMOS, information on any proposed reconstruction or restoration projects within the property, including the proposed restoration of the Triumphal Arch, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  10. Calls again on all States Parties to support emergency safeguarding and recovery measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  11. Reiterates the need for the invited joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to be carried out as soon as the situation allows, in order to proceed with a comprehensive assessment of the state of conservation of the property and the elaboration of a set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 45th session;
  12. Also 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;
Decides to retain the Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 COM 7A.24
General Decision on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.37, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Deplores the continued conflict situation prevailing in some parts of the country, the loss of human life and the degradation of humanitarian conditions;
  4. Taking note of the reports provided by the State Party regarding the state of conservation of the six Syrian World Heritage properties and the sites included on the national Tentative List, commends the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) and all heritage professionals and local communities in Syria who are working on monitoring and protecting cultural heritage, for their sustained efforts amidst extremely difficult conditions, but expresses its utmost concern about the damage incurred and the threats facing these properties and cultural heritage in general;
  5. Urges again all parties associated with the situation in Syria to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to the country’s cultural heritage, and to fulfil their obligations under international law, in particular the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, including preventing any damage that may result from targeting World Heritage properties, sites included in the national Tentative List and other cultural heritage sites;
  6. Also urges the State Party and the international community to include recovery actions of cultural heritage properties within the overall humanitarian, security and peace building response, and support recovery plans that promote community participation, sustainability and inclusion;
  7. Further urges the State Party to safeguard damaged properties through minimal first aid interventions to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation, and to refrain from undertaking conservation and restoration work until the situation allows for the development of comprehensive conservation strategies and actions that respond to international standards, in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Takes note with satisfaction of the works initiated by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for the elaboration of a set of corrective measures and the Desired state of conservation for the removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) of some of the Syrian properties;
  9. Reiterates its appeal to all States Parties to cooperate in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural property coming from Syria as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 of February 2015, and, in engaging in the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 of March 2017, and reiterates its suggestion to the State Party to consider ratifying the Second Protocol (1999) of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;
  10. Requests the State Party to pursue the systematic documentation of all damage incurred at World Heritage properties, whenever conditions allow, to implement all possible risk mitigation measures;
  11. Reminds the State Party about the need to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by the Advisory Bodies, information on any future plans for major restoration or new construction projects, including infrastructure development projects, that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  12. Reiterates its call upon the international community to further support the safeguarding of Syrian cultural heritage through earmarked funds or through contributions to the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  13. Also reiterates its call upon the international and national cultural heritage professionals to unite for the safeguarding of Syria’s cultural heritage, and to pursue their ongoing initiatives in coordination with UNESCO;
  14. Also 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 properties and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.
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.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 43 COM 7A.36 and 43 COM 7A.37, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Taking into account Decision 44 COM 7A.24, on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic,
  4. Expresses its concern that extensive illegal excavation took place at the site and calls upon the international community to collaborate for the sharing of inventories and documentation that could facilitate the return of looted objects;
  5. Also expresses its concern that monuments at the property remain at serious risk of further collapse owing to lack of funding for emergency interventions including consolidation works;
  6. Takes notes of the technical meeting, organized by the World Heritage Centre in December 2019, which elaborated a set of recommendations on optimal approaches for the recovery of the site with the international community of experts, and in particular highlighting the necessity to:
    1. Urgently undertake emergency interventions at damaged monuments,
    2. Carry out detailed assessment of damaged structures as well as of the property as a whole,
    3. Make utmost use of modern technologies and digitized inventories for the benefit of scientific studies and documentation,
    4. Refrain from reconstructing any monument in the immediate future, with the exception of the rehabilitation of the Site Museum that should be planned within a holistic approach that takes into consideration the interpretation of all values associated with the site,
    5. Instigate the preparation of an integrated conservation management plan through a comprehensive participatory value-based approach, to include policies, strategies and actions to ensure the sustainable conservation of the property, also taking into consideration the oasis setting,
    6. Continue to encourage, by all means, the return of local communities,
    7. Support the creation of an International Scientific Task Force for the recovery of the property;
  7. Expresses its appreciation to the Russian Federation for organizing the conference on the recovery of Palmyra at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg;
  8. Requests the State Party to implement the above-mentioned recommendations of the UNESCO technical meeting, and the recommendations of the 2016 UNESCO Technical Assistance Workshop, in particular concerning the emergency consolidation measures, and to seek funding to support these activities;
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by ICOMOS, information on any proposed reconstruction or restoration projects within the property, including the proposed restoration of the Triumphal Arch, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  10. Calls again on all States Parties to support emergency safeguarding and recovery measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  11. Reiterates the need for the invited joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to be carried out as soon as the situation allows, in order to proceed with a comprehensive assessment of the state of conservation of the property and the elaboration of a set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 45th session in 2022;
  12. Also 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;
  13. Decides to retain the Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Syrian Arab Republic
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2013-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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