People, Travel

Anahita Temple’s UNESCO Inscription Delayed

Anahita Temple’s UNESCO Inscription DelayedAnahita Temple’s UNESCO Inscription Delayed

The ruins of Anahita Temple in Kangavar, Kermanshah Province will take years before its dossier can be reviewed for inscription on the World Heritage List, the historical site’s new director said.

Farhad Nazari added that the previous management’s negligence has dealt a blow to the site’s chances of inscription on the list, Mehr News Agency reported.

“It’ll take two to five years to prepare the site for its global inscription and that is only if we have a solid plan,” he said.

Also called the Historic Monument of Kangavar, the temple was inscribed on the National Heritage List in 1931 and entered UNESCO’s tentative list of heritage sites in 2007.

“The dossier submitted to UNESCO only contains one paragraph about the temple, which does not correctly reflect the site’s historical and cultural value. Countless studies have been carried out here and this must be properly reflected in the dossier,” he said.

According to Nazari, the previous management sanctioned the construction of restrooms at the entrance of the site, which was never completed.

“The construction was suspended and ultimately cancelled, but the steel frame of the restrooms is still there; nobody has bothered to take them down,” he said.

Furthermore, an information board at the temple’s entrance was moved about 400 meters away from where it was supposed to be, “which has only served to confuse visitors”.

Nazari said because the Temple of Anahita is one of the first historical sites in Iran whose dossier was submitted to UNESCO, it must receive priority by cultural heritage authorities to ensure its swift inscription on the World Heritage List.

“A strategic council has been formed to oversee the site’s development, which will hopefully speed things along,” he said.

Dating back to the pre-Islamic era, the 2,300-year-old structure was built on a rocky, elevated platform as a tribute to Anahita, the Zoroastrian goddess of fertility, healing and water.

Despite being razed to the ground by a massive earthquake centuries ago, the temple is replete with evidence of immaculate workmanship of Parthian and Sassanid masons.