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Kasbah of Algiers

Algeria
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    b) Lack of maintenance of dwelling places;

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Natural erosion;

b) Lack of maintenance of dwelling places;

c) Loss of traditional conservation techniques;

d) Uncontrolled land use;

e) Non-operational safeguarding plan;

f) Lack of coordination of activities. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 5 (from 1993-2002)
Total amount approved : 92,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

September 2001: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission; December 2007 and September 2008: World Heritage Centre missions financed by the State Party for the Safeguarding Plan and the issue of the metro.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

At its 32nd session (Quebec, 2008), the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to continue work on the ongoing rehabilitation measures and the implementation of the Permanent Safeguarding Plan. The State Party submitted its report to the World Heritage Centre on 30 January 2009. It provided information on progress achieved with regard to the Permanent Safeguarding Plan and enhancement of the Kasbah of Algiers, together with voluminous documentation. Monitoring of the implementation of this Plan is currently ensured by a coordination body comprising representatives of all the decentralized structures of the State concerned with the management of the property as well as the Wali of Algiers, or his representative. It is chaired by the Minister of Culture.

 

The Permanent Safeguarding Plan is divided into three phases:

- Phase 1: diagnostic and emergency measures, specifically the current shoring up, by 17 design offices (2007);

- Phase 2: historical analysis and typology and preliminary draft (2007-2008);

- Phase 3: final drafting of the Permanent Safeguarding Plan.

 

The funding for Phase 1 estimated at more than 628 million Algerian dinars (approximately USD 8 million) has been covered by the Ministry of Culture.

 

The conservation of this heritage has been the subject of an Interministerial Council that has taken the decision to strengthen the security and public order activities, re-house the families whose dwellings were threatened and to make available funds for protection activities. This Council also requested the Ministry of Culture to initiate a draft public utility executive declaration for the safeguarded sector of the Kasbah, as well as a second decree for the creation of a national commissariat and sectoral committees for the management of the medinas and their safeguarded sectors. The September 2008 mission made some recommendations, in particular to call upon high-level expertise for structural issues and their seismic resistance, and to group all training and cooperation activities under the umbrella of a « Kasbah Heritage House ».

 

a) The metro project

The infrastructure and ancillary works (e.g. stations, ventilating shafts) linked to the construction of the Algiers metro are located in the inscribed perimeter of the Kasbah and risk causing serious damage to archaeological vestiges in the substratum. At the request of the Algerian authorities, two missions were dispatched by the World Heritage Centre and funded by the Ministry of Culture. A physical and geotechnical analysis was executed, together with soundings carried out in view of the construction of the future Place des Martyrs metro station, in the Lower Kasbah. An archaeological diagnostic is planned in the near future to establish the importance and value of the buried remains and provide necessary information for the outline of a specific strategy for the planning of a metro station and land acquisition. This work will be monitored by the INRAP (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, France) with support from the World Heritage Centre, in the framework of an agreement with the Ministry of Culture of Algeria. In particular, the September 2008 mission recommended a drastic reduction in the demolition foreseen for the construction of the Place de Martyrs station and that a study for an alternative plan be considered, with reduced land acquisition. It also recommended that the Algerian authorities complete the soundings and foresee necessary protective measures. Finally, the mission recommended that all areas where demolition was planned be the subject of prior archaeological excavations in order to safeguard archaeological information.

b) Documentation Centre

The report indicated that the establishment of the Documentation and Information Centre in the Kasbah of Algiers had begun. It is located in the « Dar Aziza Palace», that houses the Management and Exploitation of Cultural Properties, and the Wilaya of Algiers has undertaken to assemble the different documents and archives relating to the safeguarded sector.

c) Property boundary

The report indicates that the area of the safeguarded sector covers the totality of the perimeter classified at the national level and inscribed on the World Heritage List, that is 70 ha to which are added 35 ha of buffer zone. Although numerous maps are included in the report, the State Party has not yet transmitted a «topographical or cadastral map clearly indicating the boundaries and area of the inscribed property » as requested by the World Heritage Committee.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7B.52
Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria) (C 565)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.59, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party on the activities carried out in view of the conservation of the Kasbah of Algiers, and regarding the carrying out of emergency work, as outlined in the first phase of the implementation of the Permanent Safeguarding Plan;

4. Also takes note of the concerted activities undertaken in order that the Algiers metro work does not affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Congratulates the State Party for all the measures undertaken and encourages the pursuit of its efforts to conserve and rehabilitate the property;

6. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Committee informed on a regular basis of the progress achieved regarding the metro project;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit before 1 February 2010, a cadastral plan on the biggest scale available, showing the boundary of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2011, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, regarding the implementation of the Safeguarding Plan and rehabilitation activities, for examination by the Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Draft Decision: 33 COM 7B.52

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.59, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party on the activities carried out in view of the conservation of the Kasbah of Algiers, and regarding the carrying out of emergency work, as outlined in the first phase of the implementation of the Permanent Safeguarding Plan;

4. Also takes note of the concerted activities undertaken in order that the Algiers metro work does not affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Congratulates the State Party for all the measures undertaken and encourages the pursuit of its efforts to conserve and rehabilitate the property;

6. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Committee informed on a regular basis of the progress achieved regarding the metro project;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit before 1 February 2010, a cadastral plan on the biggest scale available, showing the boundary of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2011, a detailed report on the state of conservtion of the property, regarding the implementation of the Safeguarding Plan and rehabilitation activities, for examination by the Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Report year: 2009
Algeria
Date of Inscription: 1992
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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