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Iran Allows Foreign archaeologists to Excavate Sites


12 August 2004



Iran has decided to allow reputable archaeological teams to work on its historical sites in a bid to enrich local expertise, announced Hussein Marashi, president of Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) on Wednesday.

Attending a meeting of regional CHTO directors in the northeastern province of Khorasan, he emphasized on the importance of archaeology as a science and said, “Expanding archaeological projects would hopefully uproot plundering of historical sites and artifacts.”

The deputy of Iranian President noted that Iran currently has over one million historical sites, whose records would be totally documented by experts by 2005. He stressed the need to safeguard cultural properties by deploying law enforcement officers and applying electronic surveillance systems.

He also said his organization has adopted a plan to grant permits to archaeological teams whose scientific authenticity would be approved beforehand. Marashi did not elaborate when the first host of permits would be issued.

He further mentioned that CHTO intends to found specialized museums in Iran for the first time, and in that end, would buy out private properties.


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