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Despite UNESCO's Warnings, Islamic Republic's Polymer Company Insists to Remain in Bistun Plain


10 July 2007




Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


LONDON, (CAIS) -- While UNESCO has asked Islamic Republic’s Polymer Company in Kermanshah to be removed to another location in order to prevent placing Bistun’s world heritage site in the danger list – but the company is not ready to meet this demand.


The historic site of Bistun, located in Iranian Kermanshah province, was registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on July 13th, 2006 as Iran’s 8th World Heritage Site in a decision made by the World Heritage Committee in its 30th session which was held in Lithuania. 


Starting to expand the polymer company, just one month after inscription of Bistun in list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, this newly world heritage site faced a real threat for safeguarding its position against possible damages.


Mehdi Barshahi, deputy of Bistun World Centre, explained about the decision of this company’s management to expand its activities in the vicinity of Bistun plain. “However, the Company has not yet succeeded in getting the permission of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) for continuing its activities in the region,” said Barshahi.


Prior to this, authorities of the polymer company claimed that their activities will pose no threat to the historical sites of Bistun plain. However after conducting a research, this claim was rejected by Bistun’s World Centre and the Centre decided that the Polymer Company should be removed from the vicinity of Bistun World Heritage Site. Immediately, the threats of the Polymer Company on Bistun’s World Heritage Site was announced by the Centre, however, the case has been referred Esfaniar Rahim Mashayi, president of ICHHTO and close ally and advisor of Islamic Republic’s president, for final decision.


Although the Company has limited some of its harmful activities, still Bistun Centre believes that relocation of the Company would be the appropriate measure to prevent any damages posed by the Company to this World Heritage Site.  


Bistun world heritage site is hosts numerous invaluable historical remains such as the Median dynastic Temple, Darius the Great’s relief and frieze, statue of Hercules and the Sasanian monument.

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