People, Travel

Spotlight on Yazd’s UNESCO heritage Inscription

Spotlight on Yazd’s UNESCO heritage Inscription
Spotlight on Yazd’s UNESCO heritage Inscription

Cultural heritage officials have wasted little time since the inscription of Lut Desert and the ancient qanat system on the World Heritage List earlier this month, and are focusing their attention on Yazd for the next session of the World Heritage Committee.

A UNESCO-listed status would help boost the restoration of Yazd’s historical texture, according to a senior official at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

In a meeting held in Yazd to discuss the inscription of the ancient central Iranian city, Mohammad Hossein Talebian, ICHHTO’s deputy for cultural heritage, emphasized the need for accelerating preparations for the city’s inscription, ISNA reported.

He said a team of evaluators from UNESCO will visit the city in the Iranian month of Shahrivar (August 22–September 21) to prepare a report on features of Yazd and assess its historical areas before deciding whether the city should be considered for inscription.

“So, restoration of certain parts of the city must be a top priority,” he said.

“Furthermore, travel services, security and relevant infrastructure are important components that must be upgraded.”

Labeling it a landmark event in the city’s history, the official said Yazd’s inscription on the coveted list will have a significant impact on the city’s tourism industry, as it will add a certain allure to its historical, religious and cultural attractions.

Restoring Yazd’s history will no doubt help the city’s growth and dynamism–important factors in the eyes of UNESCO’s members.

Last October, experts from the France-based International Center for Earthen Architecture, CRAterre, traveled to Yazd to help officials compile the dossiers for the city’s inscription on the World Heritage List and help monitor and preserve the city’s historical texture.

With a historical texture covering 2,270 hectares, Yazd is thought to be one of the first adobe cities.

Iran’s UNESCO-listed cities, such as Shahr-e-Soukhteh, are all uninhabited, which would make Yazd the first city on the coveted list in which a large population continues to live.

Iran currently has 21 world heritage sites, more than any other country in the Middle East. Officials are planning to nominate Yazd and the Caspian Hyrcanian forests for global inscription next year, of which the latter has been on UNESCO’s tentative World Heritage List since 2007.