People, Travel

Education Essential to Cultural Heritage Preservation

Education Essential to Cultural Heritage PreservationEducation Essential to Cultural Heritage Preservation

Iran’s ambassador and permanent delegate to UNESCO called for the education of children about their country’s cultural heritage in schools.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday following UNESCO’s inscription of Iranian qanats and Lut Desert, Ahmad Jalali added that the public must become passionate about their historical landmarks and demand their upkeep from the authorities, ILNA reported.

“History gives a country credence; you can’t buy that with money, advertising or military force,” said Jalali, scolding those who see history as “fantasy or nostalgia of the past.”

He said it is imperative to teach children from a young age the importance and value of cultural and historical sites to instill in them a sense of responsibility toward ancient places.

Numerous sites in Iran have fallen into disrepair due to mismanagement and many are vandalized regularly by young people.

Jalali noted that the number of inscribed sites is an indicator of that nation’s share of human history and this is why countries compete for the global recognition of historical features.

Boasting a history of over 7,000 years, Iran had failed to inscribe any sites until Pasargadae was registered in 2004, at the time of Mohammad Beheshti’s directorship of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

According to Jalali, it took four years for the Pasargadae dossier to be prepared.

“When the Pasargadae dossier was being reviewed at the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee, before the experts declared their verdict, all members gave us a standing ovation to indicate that the case need not be discussed any further,” he said.

With the recent inscription of Persian qanats and Lut Desert, Iran now boasts 21 world heritage sites.

During the third sessions of the World Heritage Committee in 1979, Choghazanbil, Persepolis and Naqsh-e-Jahan Square became the first Iranian sites to receive world heritage status.