UNESCO representative and Iraq Office Director Axel Plathe congratulated Iraq, and in particular the Kurdistan Region for the inscription of the Erbil Citadel on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, hoping that this step opens new opportunities for the local community, and brings the well-deserved international attention to this historical site.
“On behalf of UNESCO I would like to congratulate Iraq and specifically the Kurdistan Region for the inclusion of Erbil Citadel on the World Heritage List” stated Plathe.
“The inscription represents an international recognition of the Citadel’s outstanding universal value, and highlights its significance as a testimony to the evolution of the human civilization”, added UNESCO Director.
“UNESCO hopes that this step, with its major cultural and touristic potential, would open new opportunities for the community, and pave the way for additional exemplary conservation measures that would help in safeguarding it for future generations”.
Erbil Citadel is the fourth site from Iraq to be included in the World Heritage List, after Ashour, Hatra, and Samarra Archeological city. Located on top of a 32 meters high artificial mound, Erbil Citadelis believed to comprise archaeological remains representing previous historical periods.
The Citadel is of an elliptical shape, covering slightly more than 10 hectares of urban fabric composed of traditional courtyard houses, built of fired bricks. It also includes several public buildings such as mosques, a traditional public bath, and several historic graves.
Since 2007, several projects aiming at the conservation and revitalization of the Citadel have been initiated by the Kurdistan Regional Government and implemented through the High Commission for the Erbil Citadel Revitalization (HCECR) and UNESCO.
Under the Chair of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the World Heritage Committee is meeting in Doha, Qatar from 15 to 25 June to consider the inscription of 36 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List nominated by States Parties.
During this meeting, members of the Committee have also examined the state of conservation of more than 100 of the 981 existing World Heritage properties.