People, Travel

UNESCO to Decide On Susa World Heritage Status

UNESCO to Decide On Susa World Heritage StatusUNESCO to Decide On Susa World Heritage Status

Decision on whether or not the historical city of Susa in Khuzestan province will receive UNESCO-listed status will be made during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, to be held from June 28 to July 8 in Bonn, Germany.

Preparing the document for Susa’s nomination for World Heritage status faced many hurdles, according to Afshin Heydari, head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department of Khuzestan Province, ISNA reported.

He said extensive measures had to be taken to ensure Susa met UNESCO’s criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List. Susa has been on UNESCO’s Tentative List since August 2007.

Heydari said Khuzestan’s cultural heritage officials are working to prepare Izeh for UNESCO’s Tentative List.  He said when the city is thoroughly studied and restorative measures are taken, the documents will be sent to UNESCO.

Susa is one of the world’s largest archeological sites and it was continuously inhabited from 4000 BC to 900 AD. During that period, it served as the capital of the Elamites and subsequently the Achaemenid Empire.

  Cultural Heritage Protection Imperative

The official stressed that authorities will not compromise the preservation of historical heritage sites and those who damage or destroy them will be prosecuted.

He pointed to the cultural heritage hotline and urged the public to report any case of destruction, harm or damage to historical sites by calling 1820.

On the subject of tourism, Heydari said there are a number of issues that must be resolved to develop the industry and emphasized that measures are being taken to improve infrastructure.

“Responsibility of developing the industry does not only fall on the cultural heritage organization. Other organizations must also collaborate.”

Heydari said committees will be set up in smaller cities to study their tourism potential and devise plans to promote local tourism.