People, Travel

UK Firm Seeks Contracts to Restore Heritage Sites

UK Firm Seeks Contracts to Restore Heritage SitesUK Firm Seeks Contracts to Restore Heritage Sites

Interest among foreign firms to help restore Iran’s historical and cultural heritage is growing, with the UK-based WSP, a consulting firm, the latest company to hold talks with Iranian officials.

During a meeting on Wednesday in Tehran between Muhammad Reza Pouyandeh, head of the Fund for Restoration and Administration of Historical and Cultural Places and John Priestland, global strategy and major pursuits director at WSP, the two agreed to share knowledge and expertise about restoring and maintaining ancient structures, local media reported.

WSP collaborates with 500 companies globally and employs 130 Iranian engineers, which Priestland said can help expand the company’s business in Iran, ISNA reported.

“We specialize in restoring and persevering historical sites and artifacts, one of the most important of which is the Palace of Westminster in London (where British lawmakers meet),” he said.

Emphasizing the role and importance of heritage sites, Pouyandeh said cultural and historical heritage plus other tourist destinations have become stable sources of revenue across continents, Mehr News Agency reported.

Iran is giving priority to structures, such as historical houses, which can be repurposed into lodging facilities to meet the anticipated influx of tourists in the coming years. 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 Yazd, Shiraz and Isfahan.

WSP is a globally-recognized engineering professional services firm with a 130-year history and roots in companies founded in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Italian, Indian, Singaporean and Swiss firms have also expressed interest in restoring Iran’s historical and cultural sites that are in a state of disrepair, with the Italian company Navarra the first to hold official talks with Iranian authorities.