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Decision 23 BUR IV.B.67
Tyr (Lebanon)

The preparation of documents and the operational activities of this site, which is the object of an International Safeguarding Campaign, is the responsibility of the Division of Cultural Heritage. The Director of the World Heritage Centre reminded the members of the Bureau that, following the launching of the Campaign by the Director-General of UNESCO on 3 March 1998, the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June 1998, had encouraged the Lebanese authorities to continue the Campaign in co-operation with UNESCO.  It had strongly urged the Lebanese authorities to immediately halt all work likely to threaten the heritage of Tyr, and to improve the control mechanisms to prevent further destruction of the heritage of the region.

Taking account of the implementation of several activities such as the development of the highway and the port of Tyr, a letter was addressed to the Minister of Public Works in September 1998, jointly signed by the Director of the Centre and the Division of Cultural Heritage.  This letter requested the suspension of all work likely to modify the character of the site of Tyr and its surroundings, inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The Division of Cultural Heritage consequently proposed four experts to the Lebanese authorities to comprise the International Scientific Committee, the names of whom were agreed upon by the Minister for Culture and Higher Education of Lebanon.  This Committee, which met for the first time from 14 to 17 June 1999 in Lebanon, and Mr Azedine Beschaouch, chargé de mission to the Assistant Director-General for Culture participated.  After meetings with the new Director General of Antiquities, Dr Chaker Ghadban, the Director General of Urbanism, Mr Joseph Abdel Ahad, and the Municipality of Tyr, the Committee compiled a report and detailed recommendations concerning the continuation of activities at Tyr.

The Bureau recommended continued co-operation between UNESCO and the Lebanese authorities, notably in the framework of international campaigns and, in endorsing the recommendations of the International Scientific Committee, emphasized the need:

a) to avoid further intensified urbanization of the old town of Tyr and to set and enforce limitations to the height of buildings;

b) for a buffer zone, in conformity with the 1972 Convention for properties inscribed on the World Heritage List;

c) to carry out explorations and soundings well in advance of all construction work, notably  the along the length of the future highway;

d) of the creation of a special “natural” protection zone, where all construction is forbidden, except for light structures without foundations for possible tourist exploitation.

Decision Code
23 BUR IV.B.67
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
1999 Tyre
Context of Decision