People, Travel

More Historical Sites in Private Ownership

More Historical Sites in Private OwnershipMore Historical Sites in Private Ownership

Thanks to the efforts of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in accelerating legal procedures, 16 historical buildings were handed over to private ownership in the past two months. Prior to this, only 15 such buildings were ceded over 10 years, managing director of the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Sites, Mohammad Reza Pouyandeh said at the Exhibition of Press and News Agencies in Tehran last week.

In addition to the 31historical buildings, more are to be passed on to the private sector in coming months. To give momentum to this privatization process, “we are trying to create and spread awareness about the available historical monuments through the mass media,” Pouyandeh said.

He did not provide details and it was not clear which buildings in which cities had been transferred to private ownership and at what prices.

“We have been assisting investors in their financial and technical assessments and help them avoid bottlenecks to accelerate the handover procedure,” IRNA quoted the official as saying.

A variety of contracts are on offer, many of which enable the fund to support local communities with less visited historical sites that need restoration. Structures and monuments in major tourist attractions, “namely Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad are obviously very easy to handover,” Pouyandeh said.

Under the auspices of the government, the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places has 269 historical buildings that can now be sold to private owners.

The fund in the past did not publicize its decision to handover the buildings as would have been expected, which hindered the progress. “We have decided to launch a transparent, broad-based and systematic public awareness campaign and provide all those interested with easy access to all the relevant information,” the official was quoted as saying.