Meidan Emam, Esfahan

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Housing
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Underground transportation infrastructure (Subway route under the historical axis of Esfahan)
  • Commercial development (issue resolved)
  • Housing
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 2 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved : 13,321 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

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 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 30 November 2016 the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/documents, which provides information on the recommendations made by the Committee at its 39th session as follows:

  • Metro Line 2: The authorities have shifted the routing of Metro Line 2 out of the property’s buffer zone, and the new route is at a distance of 350m from Meidan Emam;
  • Boundary of property and modification of buffer zone: The process for defining the buffer zone has been completed and maps have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  • Conservation and rehabilitation: Measures that have been approved and are partially in the process of being implemented concerning the conservation and stabilization of the Masjed-e Emam’s dome, the restoration of columns and the ceiling of the Ali Qapu pavilion, the restoration and harmonization of parietal decorations in the Ali Qapu portico, the revitalization and reorganization of the Royal road and of the Meidan Emam square;
  • Education and promotion: In order to better promote and present the cultural significance of the property, the authorities have established a permanent exhibition space in the Ali Qapu pavilion, including educational programmes and exhibitions. Better guidance for visitors within the property will be ensured through pedestrian roadways, which are in the process of being developed. This shall reduce traffic within the property;
  • Sewage system within property and its buffer zone: Esfahan's Water and Wastewater Organization is planning the reorganization of the water and sewage system within the property and its buffer zone;

As requested by the Committee in Decision 39 COM 7B.67 (Bonn, 2015), the State Party also submitted a draft proposal for boundary clarification of the property, for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party's efforts to address the issues raised by the Committee concerning Metro Line 2 are acknowledged and appreciated. The shift in the routing of the Metro Line 2 to a distance of 350m outside the property is a positive step and it is hoped that all mitigation measures, including the investigation and monitoring of monuments, will continue to be part of the tunnelling activities in order to ensure that these works do not cause any negative impact on the property. 

While the efforts of the authorities in terms of conservation and rehabilitation measures are commendable, it is not clear whether these have been based on the draft Conservation and Management Plan or on the Master Plan for Esfahan. Furthermore, no information on the preparation of a systematic strategy on risk preparedness has been provided, despite the request by the Committee at its 39th session. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to submit the draft Conservation and Management Plan for comments by the Advisory Bodies, prior to its finalization.

An assessment study of the property against disasters such as earthquake or fire shall also be carried out in order to develop a systematic strategy for disaster risk reduction, and integrate it into the Conservation and Management Plan.

More detailed information on the development of the spatial structure for the pedestrian tourists within the property should be sent to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any works are commenced.

Finally, the State Party reports very briefly on planning for the reorganization of the sewage system. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide more detailed information on the reorganization of the sewage system within the property and its buffer zone.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.92
Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 115)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.67, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Appreciates the efforts made by the State Party to shift the routing of Metro Line 2 outside the property and requests the State Party to ensure that all mitigation measures and the investigation and monitoring of monuments continue to be part of the tunnelling activities, in order to ensure that these works do not cause any negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the draft Conservation and Management Plan prior to its finalization, for review by the Advisory Bodies, to carry out an assessment of the property’s vulnerability to disasters such as earthquakes or fires, and to develop a systematic strategy for disaster risk reduction and integrate it into the Conservation and Management Plan;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies and before any further works:
    1. Information on the development of the spatial structure for the pedestrian roadways for visitors to the property,
    2. Detailed information on the reorganization of the sewage system within the property and its buffer zone;
  6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.92

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.67, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Appreciates the efforts made by the State Party to shift the routing of Metro Line 2 outside the property and requests the State Party to ensure that all mitigation measures and the investigation and monitoring of monuments continue to be part of the tunnelling activities, in order to ensure that these works do not cause any negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the draft Conservation and Management Plan prior to its finalization, for review by the Advisory Bodies, to carry out an assessment of the property’s vulnerability to disasters such as earthquakes or fires, and to develop a systematic strategy for disaster risk reduction and integrate it into the Conservation and Management Plan;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies and before any further works:
    1. Information on the development of the spatial structure for the pedestrian roadways for visitors to the property,
    2. Detailed information on the reorganization of the sewage system within the property and its buffer zone;
  6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(v)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
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.