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Fresh Concerns over Irresponsible Construction Projects at Bistun


14 February 2006



LONDON, (CAIS) -- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has raised its concerns in a letter to ICHTO over construction activities in and around the ancient site of Bistun (Bisotun), Kermanshah province, notably the petrochemical plant producing urea and ammoniac and its impact on the environment.

In its letter, which was sent to Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), UNESCO noted that these activities might hinder the registration of Bistun on its list of global cultural heritage sites.

This is while Islamic regime's provincial authorities have insisted that the new petrochemical facility should be constructed near ancient Bistun.

Cultural heritage experts have expressed concern about the impacts of industrial activities on Bistun in light of UNESCO’s letter and a request by Kermanshah Governor-General’s Office.

Director of the Bistun project Maliheh Mehdi-Abadi told CHN that two issues are currently threatening the registration of Bistun in UNESCO’s list of global cultural heritage sites.

“First is the insistence of a petrochemical company to construct another plant near the former facility. The second is the resolve of the Governor-General’s Office to have the main Bistun-Kermanshah Highway passes over the Bistun archeological site,“ she added.

ICHTO has proposed the registration of Bistun as Iran’s eighth archeological site on the UNESCO list of global cultural heritage sites.

Bistun, is located 20 km to the northeast of Kermanshah on the foothill of a mountain by the same name. The area boasts of numerous pre-historical caves, the inscriptions of Darius the Great and his son Xerxes of the Achaemenid dynasty, Parthian statues of Mehrdad the Great and his companions, Post-Achaemenid statue of Hercules as well as bridges constructed during the Sasanian dynastic era.



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