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Ancient Texture of Esfahan, Shiraz & Tabriz Cities Endangered


09 May 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- High Council for Urban Development and Architecture will determine the fate of the old textures of four major Iranian cities of Esfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz next week.

Director of the Office for Historical Texture of Urban Areas affiliated to Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Mohammad Ali Tabarsa told news reporters that the decision will be made by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as per a proposal from ICHTO to save the cultural heritage in the old textures of cities.

He said that cultural heritage in the old texture of cities are at risk and sometimes they are being demolished on the pretext of rebuilding the old areas.

He added that the municipalities have so far turned a deaf ear to all objections by the ICHTO against the demolition of cultural heritage sites in the old quarters of cities.

However, the new law will give ICHTO legal mechanisms to safeguard cultural heritage from destruction on the pretext of urban development.

“Henceforth, plans for urban development should be approved by ICHTO before they are implemented.“

He said that boundaries of the old texture of four major cities of Esfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz will be studied by the High Council for Urban Development and Architecture after being approved by the Article 5 Commission of each city.

Tabarsa noted that currently boundaries of the four large cities have been determined and the office for Old Textures of Cities affiliated to ICHTO is studying them.

He said that bitter experience of demolition of edifices in old textures of Tehran and Tabriz encouraged the ICHTO to stop the repetition of this trend in other major cities.

The law will require ICHTO approval for development projects in the old texture of large cities, he concluded.




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