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Efforts to Prevent Cultural Mansion’s Demolition

Efforts to Prevent Cultural Mansion’s DemolitionEfforts to Prevent Cultural Mansion’s Demolition

Months of dispute surrounding the fate of Sabet Pasal Mansion in Tehran has drawn the ire of activists, with a member of Tehran City Council urging Tehran Municipality to step in and prevent the owner from demolishing what some refer to as “Iran’s Versailles Palace”.

Speaking to ILNA, Mohammad Haqqani said he has written to the municipality twice and stressed that he will do his best to save the structure.

“The mansion can be repurposed into a museum,” he said. “National resources were used to build the structure and prominent artists worked on it.”

Haqqani hoped that his proposal to transform the house, built in 1961, into a cultural venue will be accepted and suggested Tehran Municipality could save the mansion from destruction through a barter deal with its owner.

Last week, a mobile crane parked outside the mansion fueled speculation regarding the imminent destruction of the mansion. Rumors claimed the owner intends to demolish Sabet Pasal and build a high-rise in its place.

Cultural heritage advocates have argued that the structure boasts a unique architectural style and is of cultural value. Some officials have even suggested the structure deserves to be inscribed on the National Heritage List.

In late 2014, Rajab Ali Khosroabadi, head of Tehran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said the mansion is devoid of cultural value and could not be inscribed on the list, which drew the ire of Iran’s cultural heritage deputy, Mohammad Hassan Talebiyan.

Talebiyan vehemently objected to Khosroabadi’s statement, saying the cultural value of the structure will be reviewed in an expert meeting that has not been scheduled yet.