1.         Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 115)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(v)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 13,321
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted:5,710 Euros (France/UNESCO Cooperation Agreement)

Previous monitoring missions

July 2002: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2002: Joint World Heritage Centre/World Bank mission; June 2004 and May 2005: UNESCO Tehran Office fact-finding missions; May 2006: World Heritage Centre mission; June and December 2006, April 2007, October 2008, and October 2009: UNESCO Tehran Advisory missions; March 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; May 2013: 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/115/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 1 December 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/documents. The report presents the State Party’s progress with several conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

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

The State Party's efforts to address the recommendation of the Committee concerning the elaboration of a Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) and addressing disaster risk reduction through the elaboration of a distinct Disaster Risk Management Plan (DRMP) are appreciated, although the final drafts are yet to be completed, despite being in the finalisation phase since 2016.

The outline of the CMP identifies the processes being undertaken to develop the plan and a range of some 182 objectives, plans, strategies, policies or measures to address specific areas of the plan. It is hoped that the final draft provides elaboration of the short-, medium- and long-term prioritising of actions to be taken in this complex management environment.

In response to the Committee’s request in its last Decision, the State Party provided details of the stabilisation work conducted to the Ali Qapu edifice, while confirming that specific anti-earthquake measures will be planned and implemented for the architectural structures within the property. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request for the submission of plans for restoration and intervention with potential impacts on the OUV of the property for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to their implementation and finalisation.

The DRMP outline submitted by the State Party adopts the ABC method developed jointly by ICCROM, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) and foresees a sequential approach to identifying and establishing action items according to potential risks and threats, covering the whole area of the Meidan and its four main monuments. While the outline seems to include major and necessary elements for the DRMP, it may be good to also include the actual organization plan to address emergency situations on the ground, such as an organizational chart, work sharing and the roles of different stakeholders, including the inhabitants, at the stage of immediate response.

The investigation and reorganization of the property’s water and sewage systems, including its buffer zones, and the proposed implementation using a phased approach should be noted, but it is recommended that the Committee reiterates its request that the programme be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Following its previous recommendation, the Committee may also wish to reiterate its request that the State Party submit research and analyses on the property’s spatial structure, leading to the actual implementation of a possible reorganization of motorized and pedestrian circuits around the property.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.144

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.64 adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Appreciates the efforts made by the State Party with the elaboration of the outlines of the Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) of the property, the Disaster Risk Management Plan (DRMP), and the submission of a detailed report on the past structural intervention to the Ali Qapu edifice and requests the State Party to submit:
    1. The final version of the outline of the CMP and a full draft of this plan,
    2. The draft DRMP, including also:
      1. an indication of actual first response measures showing the sequential actions and organizational planning, including the division of roles and responsibilities among stakeholders,
      2. planning for specific anti-earthquake measures for the Ali Qapu edifice and other built structures of the Meidan Emam;
  4. Also appreciates the progress achieved with investigations into the water and sewage system of the property and its buffer zones as part of the DRMP, and reiterates its request that the State Party to submit the complete programme of works to the World Heritage Centre for review of the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible;
  5. Also reiterates its request that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre the final plan towards the development of spatial structures for the motorized and pedestrian access to the property, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as possible and before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse or any further works are carried out, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, in view of a possible reorganization of motorized and pedestrian circuits around the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 46th session.