People, Travel

President Urged to Save Shiraz Historical Texture

President Urged to Save Shiraz Historical Texture
President Urged to Save Shiraz Historical Texture

In an open letter to President Hassan Rouhani, 18 cultural heritage associations and NGOs expressed concerns over the relentless destruction of Shiraz’s historical texture.

Calling the city’s historical neighborhoods “an integral part of Iranian identity”, the activists appealed to the president to step in and end the destruction, Fararu news website reported.

“The remaining barrel vaults and a Qajar-era caravanserai in the Eskandariyeh neighborhood were razed by bulldozers when the country’s senior cultural heritage officials were in Shiraz,” reads the letter.

Activists lament bulldozers seem to have free reign over the city’s historical texture, and warn that if demolition continues, there will not be any historical structure left.

“They have already destroyed 11,000 hectares of land north of the historical Khan School, where eminent Shia scholar, Molla Sadra, imparted knowledge.”

The letter also points to the destruction of six other historical houses in Shiraz last year and says the officials defended the move by saying the houses were not inscribed on the National Heritage List.

“They seem ignorant to the fact that the houses were in the Eskandariyeh neighborhood, which is registered on the list,” the activists said.

According to the letter, the houses on Noh-e Dey Street, whose owners have received the evacuation order for their residences to be destroyed, are all inscribed on the National Heritage List and are legally protected from demolition.

The activists point out similar projects are underway in other provinces, such as Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kashan and Yazd.

The destruction that has befallen Shiraz’s historical texture has received extensive coverage, with no effect whatsoever on developers and officials. Appealing to President Rouhani is a last-ditch effort to save the ancient city’s texture from further destruction.