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Abu Mena

Egypt
Factors affecting the property in 2008*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Rise in the water table;

b) Impact on structures due to earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

c) Lack of conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

d) Need for a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • A land-reclamation programme and irrigation scheme with no appropriate drainage mechanism, for the agricultural development of the region has caused a dramatic rise in the water table;
  • The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated around the property, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the north-western region of the property;
  • A large, banked road has been built to enable movement within the property. 
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

a) Consolidated structures;

b) Water table lowered and monitoring system established in and around the property;

c) Implementation of conservation and management plans.

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Implementation of a rapid condition survey of all excavated remains and urgent conservation measures in order to provide protection to structures against earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

b) Lowering of the water table by means of drainage ditches and pipes, inside and around the archaeological area;

c) Establishment of an efficient system for monitoring the water table in the archaeological site and in the surrounding zones;

d) Preparation of a conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

e) Consultations with stakeholders with the objective of preparing a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In its report presented in 2007, the State Party announced the completion of the works by 2010
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2008
Requests approved: 1 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved : 7,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2008**

2002: Expert mission; 2005: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

Current conservation issues

The State Party reported, in a letter to the World Heritage Centre dated 25 January 2008, the following:

a) Regarding a conservation plan, the structures are now being consolidated. The restoration and conservation plans will take place following the stabilization of the water table. Short, medium, and long-term objectives have already been established;

b) With regard to the water table, a project for its reduction will be finished within one year. This project will include drainage ditches and pipes;

c) A monitoring system that will be in place during and after the completion of the project is also being implemented;

d) A buffer zone has been defined with the Department of Surveying in Egypt. This buffer zone will be on the official map of the property;

e) After completion of the project, a protective fence will be built around the area, including the buffer zone and the antiquities area. This fence will not obstruct the panorama of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the threats identified above are still present, but it would appear from the brief report provided that the impacts of these are being mitigated by actions undertaken by the State Party. It is difficult, however, to evaluate the effectiveness and nature of these actions and to assess to what extent the threats remain current. A more detailed report with information on the timeframe for implementation Is necessary.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies welcome the establishment of a buffer zone that the State Party has submitted as a minor modification for examination by the World Heritage Committee in item 8 of the Agenda (Document WHC-08/32.COM/8B.Add).. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2008
32 COM 7A.15
Abu Mena (Egypt) (C 90)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7A.19 and 31 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to address the existing threats and urges the State Party to continue its work on the corrective measures adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4. Invites the State Party to consider a request for International Assistance to support the preparation of the conservation and management plans;

5. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

6. Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, 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 33rd session in 2009;

7. Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger

32 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and sizes by States Parties in response to the restrospective inventory

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/8D,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 11A.2 and 31 COM 11A.2, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Recalls that, as decided at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) by Decision 31 COM 11A.2, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

4. Congratulates States Parties in the European Region and the States Parties of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia on the excellent work accomplished in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List,

5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and sizes provided by the following States Parties in the European and Arab Regions in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-08/32.COM/8D:

  • Armenia: Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin;
  • Austria: Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg; Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn; Hallstatt-Dachstein-Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape;
  • Belgium: Flemish Béguinages;
  • Bulgaria: Boyana Church; Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak; Rila Monastery; Ancient City of Nessebar;
  • Croatia: Old City of Dubrovnik; Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian; Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč;
  • Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Telč; Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora; Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape; Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž;
  • Denmark: Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church; Roskilde Cathedral;
  • Egypt: Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur; Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis; Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae; Historic Cairo; Abu Mena; Saint Catherine Area;
  • Estonia: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn;
  • Germany: Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square; Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl; Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin; Town of Bamberg;
  • Greece: Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae; Mount Athos; Medieval City of Rhodes; Archaeological Site of Mystras; Delos;
  • Hungary: Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue; Old Village of Hollókö and its Surroundings; Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment; Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (presented jointly with Slovakia);
  • Ireland: Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne; Skellig Michael;
  • Italy: Historic Centre of San Gimignano; City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto; Historic Centre of Siena; Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta; The trulli of Alberobello; Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna; Historic Centre of the City of Pienza; Residences of the Royal House of Savoy; Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua; Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto); Costiera Amalfitana; Archaeological area of Agrigento; Su Nuraxi di Barumini; Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia;
  • Latvia: Historic Centre of Riga;
  • Luxembourg: City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications;
  • Morocco: Medina of Marrakesh; Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou; Archaeological Site of Volubilis;
  • Poland: Cracow's Historic Centre; Historic Centre of Warsaw; Old City of Zamość; Medieval Town of Torún; Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork;
  • Portugal: Monastery of Batalha; Cultural Landscape of Sintra; Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Côa Valley;
  • Romania: Danube Delta;
  • Slovakia: Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity; Spišský Hrad and its Associated Cultural Monuments; Vlkolínec; Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (presented jointly with Hungary);
  • Spain: Garajonay National Park;
  • Tunisia: Ichkeul National Park;
  • Ukraine: Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra;
  • United Kingdom: Durham Castle and Cathedral; Ironbridge Gorge; Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church; Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church; Maritime Greenwich;

6. Requests the European and Arab States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in 2005, 2006 and 2007 within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all requested clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2008 at the latest.

Draft Decision: 32 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7A.19 and 31 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to address the existing threats and urges the State Party to continue its work on the corrective measures adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4. Invites the State Party to consider a request for International Assistance to support the preparation of the conservation and management plans;

5. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of outstanding universal value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

6. Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, 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 33rd session in 2009;

7. Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2008
Egypt
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 2001-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 32COM (2008)
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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