A monitoring mission from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is due here on Friday to assess whether the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens can be removed from its list of endangered world heritage sites.
Archaeology Department Director Saleemul Haq said that the two-member mission would review the steps taken by the government to preserve the two sites during a four-day stay in Lahore and then compile an inspection report for Unesco.
He said that both sites were placed on Unesco’s list of important world heritage sites in 1981.
They were added to the endangered list in 1999 after the irrigation water system at Shalamar Gardens was demolished. He said that projects to conserve these two sites at a cost of Rs300 million each were underway.
To a question, Haq said that experts from the Archaeology Department had completed indoor work at the two sites, but “some other departments” had not yet finished outdoor work, including elimination of encroachments and sources of pollution.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.