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Samarra Archaeological City

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Weathering and lack of maintenance affecting the fragile structures;

b) State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Establishment of a local management coordination unit on the site;

b) Preparation and implementation of a Conservation and Management Plan;

c) Maintenance and emergency conservation activities.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2010

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 from the Nordic World Heritage Fund for training and documentation aiming at the preparation of the Nomination File.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

The State Party submitted a report dated 21 January 2010, which noted that a maintenance and management plan was being prepared for the property.

The report further noted that during 2009, excavation and maintenance work had been carried out on one of the main palaces of the city of Samarra, Bayt al-Zakharif, near the Malwiya Mosque. The report also noted that it expected to protect the excavated remains with a metal roof. The State Party report indicates that it expects to carry out maintenance work on the buildings of Qasr al-Khalifa (the Caliph’s Palace), al-Birka al-Dairiya (the circular pool), Qasr al-Hayr (the GardenPalace) and the Malwiya Mosque during 2010. However, no update on the state of conservation and on the damages mentioned in the 2009 report is provided in the present report.

The State Party report mentions that a request for building a new museum and site headquarters near the Malwiya Mosque had been submitted to the Salah ad-Din governorate and was currently under evaluation.

The State Party report calls for provision of international assistance for the property and stresses that after six years of neglect the buildings require evaluation by international experts so that a clear strategy can be drawn up for the commencement of maintenance and conservation. The report suggests additionally the need for grants, conservation workshops and preparing a site management plan. ..

It should be acknowledged that the World Heritage Committee, at its 33rd session, encouraged the State Party to submit an International Assistance request for technical cooperation in order to address the damages to the property, and the need to develop remedial strategies which take into account the geographical extent of the property and its present security conditions; the State Party has not yet submitted such a request.

Finally, the State Party expresses its wish to retain Samarra on the World Heritage List in Danger because of continuing violations of the country’s antiquities, a lack of respect for the Antiquities Law and illegal digging. .

The State Party participated in the Periodic Reporting exercise and submitted an incomplete Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the property on 13 January 2010 which was returned for revision.

The mission requested by the World Heritage Committee could not take place due to the overall situation in the country and the complexity of security and logistical requirements.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies commend the State Party for its efforts to improve conservation of the property and to initiate management and maintenance planning, but are concerned by the lack of support available for maintenance and conservation measures. .

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies further support the need to carry out a reactive monitoring mission at the earliest opportunity, as and when local security conditions will permit. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7A.19
Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.17, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Requests the State Party, should the situation allow it, to implement the corrective measures identified:

a) Establishment of a local management unit on the site,

b) Preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan,

c) Maintenance and emergency conservation activities;

4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and to finalize the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

5. Encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance Request for technical cooperation in order to address the damages to the property and the need to develop remedial strategies, which take into account the geographical extent of the property and its present security conditions;

6. Calls upon the international community to assist, in every way possible, the State Party in the protection of this property;

7. Also requests the State Party, should the conditions allow, to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Samarra to assess the state of conservation of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

9.  Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

34 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 34 COM 7A.22)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 34 COM 7A.23)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 34 COM 7A.13)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 34 COM 7A.29)
  • Colombia, Los Katios National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.14)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 34 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 34 COM 7A.17)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.9)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 34 COM 7A.27)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 34 COM 7A.12)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 34 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 34 COM 7A.19)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 34 COM 7A.24)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 34 COM 7A.20)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 34 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 34 COM 7A.25)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 34 COM 7A.30)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 34 COM 7A.26)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 34 COM 7A.11)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 34 COM 7A.28)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 34 COM 7A.16)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 34 COM 7A.31)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 34 COM 7A.21)
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.17 adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Requests the State Party, should the situation allow it, to implement the corrective measures identified:

a) Establishment of a local management unit on the site,

b) Preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan,

c) Maintenance and emergency conservation activities;

4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and to finalise the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

5. Encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance request for technical cooperation in order to address the damages to the property, and the need to develop remedial strategies which take into account the geographical extent of the property and its present security conditions ;

6. Calls upon the international community to assist, in every way possible, the State Party in the protection of this property;

7. Also requests the State Party, should the conditions allow it, to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Samarra to assess the state of conservation of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

9. Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2010
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2007-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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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