People, Travel

Foreign Interest in Restoring Heritage Sites

Foreign Interest in Restoring Heritage SitesForeign Interest in Restoring Heritage Sites

Italian, Indian, Singaporean and Swiss firms have expressed interest in restoring Iran’s historical and cultural sites that are in a state of disrepair, with the Italian company Novara the first to hold official talks with Iranian authorities. “We’ve received good offers but the Italians seem serious,” said Muhammad Reza Pouyandeh, the director of the Fund for Restoration and Administration of Historical and Cultural Places, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported. Emphasizing the role and importance of heritage sites, he said cultural and historical heritage plus other tourist destinations have become stable sources of revenue across continents.  “Investing in these sites is justifiable by their financial returns if and when put to good use,” Pouayndeh said, adding that Novara is particularly interested in renovating sites that have the potential to be used as lodging facilities, such as historical houses. Due to a lack of funds, the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has been turning historical houses over to private enterprises for restoration, some of which have become museums while others have turned into popular lodging facilities in cities such as Shiraz and Isfahan.