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Gonbad Qaboos Municipality, ICHTO at Loggerheads


26 July 2005



While controversy over the construction of Jahan Nama Tower in the vicinity of Isfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan Square is still to be resolved, Gonbad Qaboos (Kâvûs) Municipality, in northeastern Iran, has announced plans to build a tower near the city's most famous historical site.

Director of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Office in Gorgan and Gonbad Qaboos Jebreil Nokandeh told IRNA that municipality has planned to build Qaboos Tower and Restaurant in the vicinity of the historical Qonbad Qaboos Tower.

He said that according to criteria of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), the maximum height of such buildings should be five meters and construction for business purpose should occupy 75 percent of the land while 50 percent for the entire area can be used for housing projects in the same area.

"This is while the municipality has decided to build a 5.16-meter structure in an area of 1,000 square meters."

Nokandeh said that ICHTO has informed Qonbad Qaboos Municipality of its objection and has asked the public prosecutor to look into the case.

The public prosecutor has demanded the suspension of construction works on the tower, he said.

The official stated that ICHTO is responsible for safeguarding cultural heritage sites and the municipality is expected to heed the organization's demand.
He said that ICHTO had planned to propose Gonbad Qaboos Tower for registration with UNESCO as a global heritage site at its 2006 meeting.

Qonbad Qaboos Tower, which boasts of unique architecture, is the highest baked brick tower in the world. It is an Iranian Architectural masterpiece dating back to the 10th century AD.

The tower was built by Shams Al-Maali Qaboos son of Voshmgir Ziyari of Persian Ziyarid Dynasty, on a hilltop at the center of a large park.

Voshmgir built the tower for as his tomb. It is the most beautiful example of early Islamic-Iranian architecture and gives a sense of pride and glory to tourists.

Gonbad Qaboos Tower was registered as an Iranian national cultural heritage site in 1931.




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