Reconstruction of the Akaba Palace which included 1496 linear meters of wall, as well as several buildings amongst which the Logodo entrance to the inner court yard, the Djêxo spirit houses, and the Adjalala Ministers’ counsel room. This particular reconstruction was funded by the National Public Investment Plan.
21 January 2009 fire
A fire which occurred on 21 January 2009 damaged five tombs and one shrine of the property and required immediate action for urgency restoration works. The event attracted wide public attention through national media coverage and visits of several high level national representatives and personalities, who called for support among the stakeholders. Subsequently, damage repair works of the walls, the roofs, the bas-reliefs, the electrical installations and the traditional ahlihans decoration was financed by the State Party through the Public Investment Plan, and supported by several private donors, among which members of the Royal Family, and the School of African Heritage (EPA).
c) Conservation and management The report states that the main priority objectives of the management plan (2007-2011) have been achieved through the reported activities. Identification and development of best conservation practices are ensured through the daily supervision and maintenance of the site as a systematic practice for preventive and curative conservation. In terms of capacity building for regular maintenance and visitors’ services, diverse workshops in cooperation with EPA’s, ISESCO’s and the Louvre Museum of France, and two sessions of the management counsel were organized at the site. A historical research project in preparation of an exhibition at the Museum of Quai Branly in Paris (November 2009 – January 2010) further contributed to this objective. The objectives of both were improved knowledge of the tangible and intangible values of the property, the progressive improvement in the state of conservation, better visitor services and improved income generating processes.
d) Pursuance of funding strategy for conservation activities and enhancement of the property Several statistics in the report set out a continuous increase of visitors and sales income in the past years. This positive trend is explained as being the results of a successful approach aimed at increasing income in line with the objectives of the conservation and management plan. Further to sales income, and the Museums’ development fund benefiting the site by 75% of the generated income (e.g. for promotion, maintenance, and security purposes) the Ministry of Culture provided technical equipment to the site management team (power unit, motorbike, etc). By means of a diversification of cultural events and the opening of yet inaccessible buildings to the public, the property should attract more visitors, and the increased income should serve to finance the remaining desired conservation.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the state of conservation of the site has improved considerably, and are of the opinion that the objectives set out in the management plan are well met by the State Party through careful daily monitoring of the site, capacity building and promotional activities as well as through the successful completion of restoration works. The State Party should therefore hold on to its strategy and efforts in keeping up this positive trend of the last years since removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2007. However, risk preparedness management measures should be put in place in order to avoid again incidents like the 2009 fire. Further, in the endeavor to increase visitor’s frequency and the properties’ public accessibility and enhancement, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that it could be beneficial to develop a cultural tourism strategy as an adjunct to the management plan.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies reiterate the need for a reconstruction policy document for the palaces that takes into consideration the objectives of the 2007-2011 management and conservation plan.
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 82