People, Travel

Yazd Will be Nominated for UNESCO Status

Yazd Will be Nominated for UNESCO StatusYazd Will be Nominated for UNESCO Status

The historic city of Yazd is set to be nominated for UNESCO-listed status by 2016, contingent on the successful restoration of its historical texture, IRNA reported.

Last week, a working group tasked with registering Yazd’s historical texture on the UNESCO World Heritage List convened to discuss ways to inscribe the ancient city on the list.

The deputy for cultural heritage at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Mohammad Hassan Talebian, who attended the meeting, said, “Registering the city’s historical texture is a priority of the organization.”

“Plans need to be finalized by December in order to get started on the registration process.”

  Keeping it Authentic

For the sake of authenticity and congruity, those in charge of the city’s restoration project must make use of construction material used in the past.

In harmony with the historical texture, appropriate materials - such as thatch - should be used in reconstruction and renovation of the buildings - particularly in roofs. “Thus, Yazd’s historical texture will not be marred,” Talebian said.

In order to preserve the city’s identity, new constructions must reflect the city’s history in their design. “The more we pay attention to Yazd’s history, the higher the chances of getting the city registered.”

The number of young architects interested in traditional architecture is increasing. “But they lack the knowledge and expertise of the old masters,” he admitted. “We need to facilitate knowledge transference between the two generations to ensure the survival of traditional architecture.”

Past projects to restore the city’s historical texture failed to deliver, mainly due to mismanagement.

“We are taking advantage of our artists and architects and encouraging people to help revive the ancient city’s texture,” he said. “Restoring Yazd’s history will no doubt help the city’s growth and dynamism – both important factors in the eyes of the UNESCO judges.”

The restoration effort is boosted by the presence of international experts affiliated with UNESCO and CRAterre, a research laboratory on earthen architecture at the National Superior School of Architecture in Grenoble, France. Representatives of CRAterre were present in the meeting.

With a historical texture covering 2270 hectares, Yazd is thought to be one of – if not the first - adobe city in the world.