Upon the decision of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, Icheri Sheher ("Old City") was excluded from the list of monuments being under threat of destruction, said in a press release distributed by the Department of State Historical-Architectural Reserve Icheri Sheher under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic.
The 33rd session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee started in Seville on June 22. The session is attended by a delegation led by the head of the Office of the State Historical-Architectural Reserve of Azerbaijan Mikail Jabbarov. In addition, the session discussed the activities taken to preserve Icheri Shsher, which is a rare example of urban planning in the world.
Icheri Sheher was named in the list of monuments being under threat of destruction due to earthquake which occurred on 25 November 2000 in Baku, the lack of unified department in Icheri Sheher and the necessary controls, the illegal buildings that impose a threat to the architectural monuments, as well as the lack of a plan of development and protection of Icheri Sheher. In this regard, the Committee submitted its recommendations to the Government of Azerbaijan for the activities to be taken.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev took into account the significance, importance of preservation of Icheri Sheher for the history and culture of Azerbaijan, and saw a serious need to improve and centralize management of the reserve, and signed an order dated February 10, 2005 on establishment of the Office of State Historical-Architectural Reserve Icheri Sheher under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic", and later, targeted measures started to be taken in this direction, said the press release. The Office suspended all construction work in the territory, began work on the appropriate management of traffic, inventory of monuments and historical buildings.
According to the task of the Head of State, high-professional reconstruction and beautiful architectural works were carried out in Icheri Sheher, said the press release.
President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO Mehriban Aliyeva maintained attention on the work done for the restoration of historical and architectural monuments, has played a big role in that samples of the rich material and cultural heritage were showcased and recognized throughout the world. With her support, international experts were involved and for the first time, was prepared a master plan for the conservation of Icheri Sheher, said the press release.
The report of the expert group of UNESCO and other international organizations, repeatedly visiting Azerbaijan, emphasized that the World Heritage Committee's recommendations have been implemented, as well as a special state structure was established for the management of the reserve, and highly appreciated the activities for the protection of monuments .