Suakin = "?"
Forum members might be interested in this preservation history of the town and the likelihood of a future nomination bid for this "Pending" site such as I have been able to garner from the Web.1920s
Suakin Island port area is gradually abandoned in favour of Port Sudan. Some proposals to repair whilst other areas are closed because of danger1940s-50s
Surveys by British colonial personnel and proposals for maintenance. Due to lack of money to publish the drawings, this does not happen until 1976 in the "The Coral Buildings of Suakin"
(Greenlaw) which has become the main reference document for preservation and restoration.1968
F Hinkel (from GDR) produces "Scheme for the Preservation and Maintenance of Suakin
" (Not available on Web??)1972
UNESCO send a consultant architect (E Hansen). He is also quoted as saying "This is probably the last report to be written on the preservation of Suakin. In a few years there will be nothing more to preserve"
. His report recommends that restoration could be achieved for a mere LS (Sudanese pounds) 72000! Proposes open air museum etc etc. Lack of money and legal difficulties re ownership means nothing happens (plus incompetent government?)! See http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0000/000066/006626eo.pdf
Back in 1972 there was of course no "World Heritage List" at which it could be targeted for inscription!1976
"During his last visit to Sudan in 1976 the German architect Hinkel was asked again by the Commissioner of Archaeology to study the situation of Suakin. Since decay had taken a further toll on buildings, Hinkel arrived at a new proposal for the town that called for creation of a historical quarter on the northeast corner of the island comprising 2.6 ha. and placed emphasis on preservation of buildings from the early and middle periods in the island's architectural history.
New modern harbour at Suakin further endangers old town 1993
- Unesco sends a mission under Barry Lane and Abdel Rahim Salim. I have not been able to find the official UNESCO report but its general thrust is contained in the non-Unesco paper issued by one of the authors in 1997 below- 1994
Suakin is placed on Sudan's T List1996
Suakin is nominated but is deferred at the Bureau meeting for carrying out of an inventory -unfortunately I have, so far, been unable to get a fuller idea of this nomination and its consideration!1997
Article in the TDSR ("Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review"
) titled "On reviving an Ancient Red Sea Port City"
by Abdel Rahim Salim - http://iaste.berkeley.edu/pdfs/08.2f-Spr97salim-sml.pdf
. In it he states "An immediate priority has been to convince the Sudan Department of Antiquities to take two steps. One was to perform urgent repairs to the few remaining intact buildings to stop their final deterioration. Fortunately, this step has been taken. The other has been to have Suakin listed as a site in the antiquities ordinance and the World Heritage List"
. However he makes NO reference to the earlier "failure" in 1996 and it is not clear whether the intention to gain listing stated here refers to his original recommendations c 1993 or a continuing one after the 1996 deferral. 2002
" initiated under the Sudanese National Corporation of Antiquities "The project involves the study of history, archaeology and architecture, together with a programme of building restoration and community outreach.". There are various academic articles indicating that archaeological work under this scheme continues . Eg this from 2014 http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/50417
stating that University of Cambridge during 7 seasons have carried out excavations at four house-sites, the Governor's residence and one of the two surviving mosques". And this from 2011 - https://www.academia.edu/5620797/Archaeology_and_the_archaeological_and_historical_ev idence_for_the_trade_of_Suakin_Sudan_from_Navigated_Spaces_Connected_Places_Proceedin gs_of_Red_Sea_Project_part_5_2007
Mallinson Architects appointed to carry out the "Masterplan" for Suakin including restoration of ruined houses and 2 new museums (the company had previously worked for UNESCO on the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum)- http://www.mallinsonae.com/Museums/Suakin/#
This 23 minute video featuring Mr Mallinson gives a good feel for what Suakin looked like in 2012 and the status of the Museum work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osxkQyS1wEg2011
In its evaluation of the Saudi Arabian proposal for Jeddah ICOMOS notes under "Comparative analysis" that "Both Suakin and Massawa hardly conserve any traces of their old urban fabric and architecture: Suakin is today reduced to the conditions of an archaeological site"2013
Sudan initiates a "Suakin Revitalisation
" project as part of a general "East Coast development Plan". This Jun 2012 report refers to development of Suakin as an "International Heritage Site" but doesn't refer specifically to UNESCO World Heritage http://www.centroidpm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Sudan-East-Coast-Development.pps x
My conclusions from all this are
a. UNESCO has long wanted to preserve Suakin but has been unable to muster the necessary resources and actions. The importance of the place seems to be widely accepted in architectural, archaeological and cultural circles
b. Desultory preservation and archaeological work has been taking place through this century and sees likely to continue for many years to come how much it can halt the ongoing degradation must be a concern. As must whether such restoration work as might occur will be regarded as "authentic"
c. It seems unlikely that the degraded site could ever be presented to UNESCO as a "preserved working town" as per e.g Ilha de Mocambique whether it could be presented as an "Archaeological site" as per Kilwa Kisiwani who knows??
d. There is no evidence that Sudan is actively considering pursuing any nomination for Suakin on either basis in the foreseeable future. The most that can be said is that its plans do envisage developing it as a "tourist attraction" but, given the speed at which things happen in Sudan and its general "travel profile" that might seem to be a problematical objective!
It would seem that the most appropriate "Pending Status" for this deferred site on our list would be "No" not to say that it will "never" be inscribed but it doesn't seem to be a realistic objective at the moment.