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Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz

Uzbekistan
Factors affecting the property in 2023*
  • Financial resources
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Demolition and re-building of traditional housing areas

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/management plan (Lack of a comprehensive conservation and management plan)
  • Management activities
  • Housing; Commercial development (Major interventions carried out, including demolition and re-building activities)
  • Legal framework (Need to reinforce the national legal framework)
  • Human resources (inadequate)
  • Financial resources (inadequate)
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Large-scale urban development projects carried out without informing the Committee or commissioning the necessary heritage impact assessments
  • Demolition and rebuilding of traditional housing areas
  • Irreversible changes to the original appearance of a large area within the historic centre
  • Significant alteration of the setting of monuments and the overall historical town planning structure and its archaeological layers
  • Absence of conservation and Management Plan
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Not yet drafted

Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2023

Total amount provided: 2016: USD 30,670 from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust project for the Application of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban landscape (2011 UNESCO HUL Recommendation) at the World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan; 2019: USD 43,115 from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust for building capacity in the conservation and management of World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2023
Requests approved: 1 (from 1999-2018)
Total amount approved : 15,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2023**

October 2002: Monitoring mission by an international expert; March 2006: UNESCO Tashkent/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; June 2014: UNESCO Tashkent fact-finding mission; March 2016: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; December 2016: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; January 2019: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS High-Level Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 1 February 2022, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property and the “Restoration Plan – Proposal for a Regeneration Strategy”, which contained information concerning the State Party’s preferred option for the future actions at this property. The document contains a comprehensive set of data, visual materials concerning the urban morphology and buildings showing the historical evolution from 1928 till present, supported by archival records, drawings and satellite images. It also provides a revised figure concerning the scale of the demolitions and reconstructions conducted within the property from 2014 to 2016, which represent 31 ha of the 240-ha property, of which 17 ha are traditional mahallas, and 23 ha are in the buffer zones. The Restoration Plan argues that restoration works on monuments within the property are reversible, that their settings and spatial organization can be recovered, and that the evolving nature of heritage in urban context should be considered. The State Party also submitted an “Intermediate Report: Diagnosis & Options for a Regeneration Strategy”, which is a more detailed account of the studies and reflection leading to the Restoration Plan.

The state of conservation report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/885/documents and provides the following information on the actions undertaken by the State Party in response to the previous decisions of the World Heritage Committee and recommendations of Reactive Monitoring missions:

  • After a one-year delay due to the global pandemic situation, the State Party commissioned independent experts who have visited the property since 2019 and conducted research on monuments and urban structure and elaborated a Restoration Plan, taking into consideration the two options suggested by the Committee. This was done on the basis of the data analysed through the preparation of the Restoration Plan and by consulting with local and regional stakeholders, including the residents affected by past demolitions;
  • The research and survey on urban structure, traditional dwellings and monuments were carried out together with the analysis of the historical evolution, which enabled a comparison of the situation before and after the demolitions;
  • The analysis of the architectural typology of traditional domestic architecture allowed to identify urban patterns, which feed into the decisions made regarding the possible Restoration Plan;
  • The proposal for the boundary modifications is also under elaboration, in line with the chosen option;
  • A national, multidisciplinary team is currently working on the conservation strategy for the Ak-Saray tiles;
  • The State Party took into consideration the recommendations of the 2016 and 2019 missions when carrying out the above-mentioned actions;
  • The International Advisory Committee (IAC) for Uzbekistan was set up, and its inaugural meeting took place in September 2021. The first technical session, scheduled in 2022, took place in July 2022 to discuss, among others, the advice on the implementation of Committee decisions and previous mission recommendations.

On 28 March 2023, the State Party confirmed that the moratorium on construction has remained effective from 30 March 2019 and no new construction work has been engaged since then in Shakhrisyabz.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2023

The Committee may recall that the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2016 due to large-scale demolition and reconstruction within the property. Two Reactive Monitoring missions took place in 2016, the latter of which concluded that “the key attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) have been damaged to such an extent, and for the most part irreversibly, that the property can no longer convey the OUV for which it was inscribed” (Decision 41 COM 7A.57, Paragraph 8) and should be considered for deletion from the World Heritage List in accordance with Paragraph 192 of the Operational Guidelines.

Nonetheless, at its 42nd session in 2018, the Committee decided not to proceed with the deletion at that stage and recommended that “the State Party should further explore options for the potential recovery of attributes and, if needed, consider, in consultation with ICOMOS, whether a significant boundary modification based on some of the monuments and the remaining urban areas might have the potential to justify OUV” (Decision 42 COM 7A.4, Paragraph 12).

A January 2019 high-level mission proposed two possible options for the State Party to consider, which can be briefly summarised in Decision 43 COM 7A.44, Paragraph 11, as follows:

  1. Focus on a selection of monuments representing the Temurid period, or
  2. Explore key elements of Temurid urbanism within the Historic Centre. 

The mission indicated that it did not have sufficient information to explore either of these two options or to ascertain whether OUV might be justified. In Decision 43 COM 7A.44 (2019), the Committee endorsed the mission’s recommendations and decided ‘to allow the State Party two years to explore possible options for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination, and at the end of this period, to consider once again whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period to allow time, if by then a clear direction of travel has been articulated, or to delete the property altogether’. The Decision also made it clear that, in exploring either option, the State Party should undertake further research and develop a restoration plan to allow for a thorough assessment of the potential for any preferred option to justify OUV.

In its 2020 report, the State Party indicated that it would prefer the second option and offered assurances of strong will and commitment at the local level, but no potential way forward for the property was submitted within the timeline set by the Committee, which the State Party attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of these delays with the consideration of options, the Committee extended the deadline by one year and, in Decision 44 COM 7A.31, requested the State Party to submit a report on the feasibility of the preferred option for consideration at its 45th session in 2022.

Given the crucial importance of the assessment work being undertaken and the very difficult questions raised by any form of reconstruction, it was recommended that the State Party seek upstream advice from ICOMOS to identify any potential for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination to justify OUV.

In its 2022 report, the State Party analyses the two options proposed in the Decision 43 COM 7A.44 as well as a third option for a way forward that it considers to be a modified approach to Option 2. This third option, entitled “Restoration Plan of Shakhrisyabz, Proposal for a Regeneration Strategy”, covers both the monuments and aspects of Timurid urbanism and is composed of three parts:

  • A detailed analysis of the damage inflicted by demolition, by unsympathetic restoration of monuments, and by inappropriate changes to the setting of monuments,
  • An outline of proposed restoration projects for the monuments and their settings,
  • Suggested changes to the central area of the property, where major demolitions took place and resulted in the creation of a new park: re-instating lost urban connections, re-building some of the housing fabric within the mahallas that had been demolished and slightly modifying the boundaries of the property.

Overall, the State Party’s conclusion, as presented in this proposed third option, is that if the monuments and their settings are restored, if the central area is re-landscaped to recreate urban spatial links and reflects aspects of Timurid urbanism and garden design, and if the boundaries are refined to include the whole line of the defences, then the OUV for which the property was inscribed may be recovered, including its authenticity and integrity.

The Committee has already acknowledged ((43 COM 7A.44, para 13). Although the report analyses the two options and proposes a third one, what has been presented is neither a significant boundary modification nor a new nomination; instead, it is a proposal to recover attributes of OUV without either.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies agree with the State Party report that a nomination based just on the monuments alone, and excluding the mahallas, would lead to a fragmented boundary and a property that would be difficult to manage. They also consider that detailed evidence on Timurid urbanism is insufficient to allow Shakrisyabz to be seen as exceptional in that regard. Nonetheless, they consider that the idea of combining monuments and urbanism has merit, and that aligning boundaries with the line of the city walls is sensible. While the overall approach of the option can be supported in terms of sustainable development, in the view of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, the proposal, if implemented, will not recover fully the attributes of OUV for which the property was inscribed. The idea of evolving urban areas and the need for cities to maintain their dynamism have been fully taken into account in that conclusion, but the demolitions undertaken went beyond the idea of any evolution or change that could be considered as balancing the evolving socio-cultural structures or socio-economic needs of the city with the protection of the city’s OUV.

The approach presented by the State Party cannot be said to deliver an intact city or intact urban fabric, nor will it return the historic centre to its previous appearance, nor restore key aspects of Timurid planning. The demolitions within the city centre have permanently altered the relationship between the mahallas and between the monuments and the overall city structure. The report recognizes this and does not propose to reconstruct lost historical buildings but rather to re-establish lost urban connections with a view to recovering some of those attributes.

The main decision that the Committee must now take is whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period, to allow time to explore an agreed, clear and realistic way forward, or whether the property should be deleted from the World Heritage List. In the view of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, the proposal submitted by the State Party deserves to be explored further. It is thus suggested that the Committee should not delete the property from the World Heritage List at this stage, but instead encourage the State Party to explore the submission of a significant boundary modification, in line with Paragraph 166 of the Operational Guidelines, that sets out a new justification for criteria, based on an OUV that reflects a shift away from the integrity of an overall intact city and towards an ensemble of Timurid monuments with urban areas seen as their essential setting. Such a submission could include the proposed adjustments to the boundaries. Although at this stage, it cannot be said with certainty that such a proposed OUV could be justified, this approach appears worth pursuing.

To that effect, the Committee may wish to recommend that the State Party engage in a specific consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on procedural questions related to any submission.

The detailed and thorough historical research, documentation and analytical work that has underpinned the current proposal should provide a sound basis to define a protection and management framework, as it has allowed a clear and quantifiable understanding of precisely which buildings have been demolished (some 18 ha), an acknowledgement of the detailed and extensive work that needs to be undertaken to reverse damaging conservation of the monuments and to create more sympathetic settings, and a sound basis for designing new houses within the mahallas that reflect local styles.

The Committee may also wish to urge the State Party to take the necessary time to develop substantive proposals for the renovation of the monuments in the context of detailed Conservation and Management Plans integrated with an overall Master Plan for the city, which should encompass urban planning regulations and architectural and urban design guidelines in line with the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) as well as considering the comprehensive analysis of cultural legislations in Uzbekistan, conducted with the support of the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust. The State Party should also be encouraged to submit full details of urgent conservation projects, as well as the strategy for the conservation of the Ak Saray tiles, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any work commences.

Finally, the Committee may wish to welcome the launch of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) in September 2021 for the World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan and the organisation of its first technical session in July 2022, for which the contribution of the late leading expert Dr Michael Jansen, should be deeply thanked. The Committee may also emphasize that this mechanism should continue advising the national authorities on the conservation of cultural heritage properties and the implementation of Committee decisions and previous mission recommendations, with a reviewed membership.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2023
45 COM 7A.54
Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Uzbekistan) (C 885)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.48, 41 COM 7A.57, 42 COM 7A.4 and 44 COM 7A.31 adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 42nd (Manama, 2018) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively, and also recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.44 adopted at its 43rd (Baku, 2019) session, in which the Committee decided “to allow the State Party two years to explore possible options for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination, and at the end of this period, to consider once again whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period to allow time, if by then a clear direction of travel has been articulated, or to delete the property altogether”, and that in exploring options, the State Party “should undertake further research and documentation and develop a restoration plan, in order to provide sufficient details to allow assessment of the potential for each option to justify [Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)], before any work is undertaken on a significant boundary modification in compliance with Paragraphs 165 and 166 of the Operational Guidelines or on a new nomination”, and further encouraged the State Party to “request upstream support in relation to the potential for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination to justify OUV”,
  3. Notes the progress made by the State Party, in particular with comprehensive research supported by scientific documentation, analysis of historical sources, archival documents and satellite images as well as participatory research with the inhabitants of the mahallahs, acknowledges that the State Party has considered the two options suggested in Decision 43 COM 7A.44;
  4. Also notes the State Party’s wish to explore an alternative option, as presented in the “Restoration Plan of Shakhrisyabz, Proposal for a Regeneration Strategy”, which aims to restore the monuments and their settings, re-landscape the central area where major demolition was undertaken to recreate urban spatial links and introduce aspects of Timurid garden design, and slightly extend the boundaries to include the whole line of defences;
  5. Further notes that the proposed option as presented by the abovementioned “Restoration Plan of Shakhrisyabz” is not for a new nomination nor a significant boundary modification but rather for a minor boundary modification in line with the existing OUV, based on the assumption that OUV, including its authenticity and integrity, will be recovered if the option is successfully implemented;
  6. Recalls that, in its previous decisions, the Committee noted that the demolitions within the city centre have permanently altered the relationship between the mahallas and between the monuments and the overall city structure, and considers that, on the basis of what has been submitted, such an approach cannot be said to deliver the integrity of an intact city, intact urban fabric, nor can it return the historic centre to its previous appearance, nor restore key aspects of Timurid planning, nor fully recover the attributes of OUV for which the property was inscribed;
  7. Also recalls Decision 43 COM 7A.44 and the need to decide whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period to allow time to explore an agreed, clear way forward or whether the property should be deleted from the World Heritage List, and also considers that the proposal submitted by the State Party deserves to be explored further and that the property should be retained on the World Heritage List at this stage;
  8. Encourages the State Party to explore the submission of a significant boundary modification, in line with Paragraph 166 of the Operational Guidelines, to set out a new justification for criteria based on an OUV that would reflect a shift away from the integrity of an overall intact city and towards an ensemble of Timurid monuments, with the urban areas seen as their essential settings, but notes that, while such an approach would appear to be worth pursuing, it cannot be affirmed with certainty at this stage that such a proposed OUV could be justified;
  9. Strongly recommends that the State Party engage in a specific consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on procedural questions related to any submission;
  10. Welcomes the detailed and thorough historical research and analytical work undertaken and further considers that this should provide a sound basis to define protection and management requirements for the property;
  11. Urges the State Party to take the necessary time to define substantive proposals for the renovation of the monuments in the context of the development of detailed Conservation and Management Plans integrated with an overall Master Plan for the city in line with the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), which should encompass urban planning regulations and architectural and urban design guidelines and take into account the comprehensive analysis of cultural legislations in Uzbekistan conducted with the support of the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust;
  12. Encourages the State Party to submit full details of urgent conservation projects, as well as the strategy for the conservation of the Ak Saray tiles, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any work commences;
  13. Also welcomes the creation of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for cultural World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan and the organisation of its first technical session in July 2022, and emphasizes that such a mechanism with the support of its experts should advise the national authorities on the conservation of the cultural heritage properties and implementation of Committee decisions and previous mission recommendations;
  14. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, 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;
  15. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Uzbekistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
45 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/23/45.COM/7A, WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add, WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add.3, WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add.4),
  2. Having examined the recommendations of the Advisory Bodies, decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 45 COM 7A.51)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 45 COM 7A.52)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 45 COM 7A.55)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 45 COM 7A.18)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.3)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 45 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 45 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 45 COM 7A.26)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 45 COM 7A.1)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 45 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 45 COM 7A.27)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 45 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 45 COM 7A.29)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 45 COM 7A.31)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 45 COM 7A.10)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 45 COM 7A.33)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 45 COM 7A.34)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 45 COM 7A.35)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 45 COM 7A.36)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 45 COM 7A.37)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 45 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 45 COM 7A.22)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 45 COM 7A.23)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 45 COM 7A.24)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 45 COM 7A.2)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 45 COM 7A.53)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 45 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 45 COM 7A.39)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 45 COM 7A.38)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 45 COM 7A.19)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 45 COM 7A.20)
  • Romania, Roșia Montană Mining Landscape (Decision 45 COM 7A.56)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 45 COM 7A.57)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 45 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 45 COM 7A.40)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 45 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 45 COM 7A.42)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 45 COM 7A.43)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 45COM 7A.44)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 45 COM 7A.45)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 45 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 45 COM 7A.17)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 45 COM 7A.54)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 45 COM 7A.21)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 45 COM 7A.47)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 45 COM 7A.49)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 45 COM 7A.50)
3.    Recalls that the following properties were inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 18th extraordinary session (UNESCO, 2023):
  • Lebanon, Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli (Decision 18 EXT.COM 5.1)
  • Ukraine, The Historic Centre of Odesa (Decision 18 EXT.COM 5.2)
  • Yemen, Landmarks of the Ancient Kingdom of Saba, Marib (Decision 18 EXT.COM 5.3)
Draft Decision: 45 COM 7A.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.48, 41 COM 7A.57, 42 COM 7A.4 and 44 COM 7A.31 adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 42nd (Manama, 2018) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively, and also recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 43rd (Baku, 2019) session, in which the Committee decided “to allow the State Party two years to explore possible options for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination, and at the end of this period, to consider once again whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period to allow time, if by then a clear direction of travel has been articulated, or to delete the property altogether”, and that in exploring options, the State Party “should undertake further research and documentation and develop a restoration plan, in order to provide sufficient details to allow assessment of the potential for each option to justify [Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)], before any work is undertaken on a significant boundary modification in compliance with Paragraphs 165 and 166 of the Operational Guidelines or on a new nomination”, and further encouraged the State Party to “request upstream support in relation to the potential for a significant boundary modification or a new nomination to justify OUV”,
  3. Notes the progress made by the State Party, in particular with comprehensive research supported by scientific documentation, analysis of historical sources, archival documents and satellite images as well as participatory research with the inhabitants of the mahallahs, acknowledges that the State Party has considered the two options suggested in Decision 43 COM 7A.44;
  4. Also notes the State Party’s wish to explore an alternative option, as presented in the “Restoration Plan of Shakhrisyabz, Proposal for a Regeneration Strategy”, which aims to restore the monuments and their settings, re-landscape the central area where major demolition was undertaken to recreate urban spatial links and introduce aspects of Timurid garden design, and slightly extend the boundaries to include the whole line of defences;
  5. Further notes that the proposed option as presented by the abovementioned “Restoration Plan of Shakhrisyabz” is not for a new nomination nor a significant boundary modification but rather for a minor boundary modification in line with the existing OUV, based on the assumption that OUV, including its authenticity and integrity, will be recovered if the option is successfully implemented;
  6. Recalls that, in its previous decisions, the Committee noted that the demolitions within the city centre have permanently altered the relationship between the mahallas and between the monuments and the overall city structure, and considers that, on the basis of what has been submitted, such an approach cannot be said to deliver the integrity of an intact city, intact urban fabric, nor can it return the historic centre to its previous appearance, nor restore key aspects of Timurid planning, nor fully recover the attributes of OUV for which the property was inscribed;
  7. Also recalls Decision 43 COM 7A.44 and the need to decide whether the property should be retained on the World Heritage List for a further period to allow time to explore an agreed, clear way forward or whether the property should be deleted from the World Heritage List, and also considers that the proposal submitted by the State Party deserves to be explored further and that the property should be retained on the World Heritage List at this stage;
  8. Encourages the State Party to explore the submission of a significant boundary modification, in line with Paragraph 166 of the Operational Guidelines, to set out a new justification for criteria based on an OUV that would reflect a shift away from the integrity of an overall intact city and towards an ensemble of Timurid monuments, with the urban areas seen as their essential settings, but notes that, while such an approach would appear to be worth pursuing, it cannot be affirmed with certainty at this stage that such a proposed OUV could be justified;
  9. Strongly recommends that the State Party engage in a specific consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on procedural questions related to any submission;
  10. Welcomes the detailed and thorough historical research and analytical work undertaken and further considers that this should provide a sound basis to define protection and management requirements for the property;
  11. Urges the State Party to take the necessary time to define substantive proposals for the renovation of the monuments in the context of the development of detailed Conservation and Management Plans integrated with an overall Master Plan for the city in line with the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), which should encompass urban planning regulations and architectural and urban design guidelines and take into account the comprehensive analysis of cultural legislations in Uzbekistan conducted with the support of the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust;
  12. Encourages the State Party to submit full details of urgent conservation projects, as well as the strategy for the conservation of the Ak Saray tiles, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any work commences;
  13. Also welcomes the creation of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for cultural World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan and the organisation of its first technical session in July 2022, and emphasizes that such a mechanism with the support of its experts should advise the national authorities on the conservation of the cultural heritage properties and implementation of Committee decisions and previous mission recommendations;
  14. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, 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;
  15. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Uzbekistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2023
Uzbekistan
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2016-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2022) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2022
arrow_circle_right 45COM (2023)
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.