People, Travel

Outrage After Destruction of Meybod Historical Texture

Outrage After Destruction of Meybod Historical TextureOutrage After Destruction of Meybod Historical Texture

The historical texture of Khanqah district in Meybod, Yazd Province, has been demolished to restore the city’s Jame’ Mosque and build a hospital and tourism complex, despite vehement opposition from the local cultural heritage office and research center.

Khanqah district is one of the landmarks of the historical city of Meybod, which was inscribed as national heritage site, Mehr News Agency reported.

The ancient city itself is on UNESCO’s tentative World Heritage List, but the destruction of the city’s historical texture may have all but ended any hopes of inscribing the city on the permanent list.

“Its destruction was illegal and it is condemned by us and the locals,” said Sasha Riahi Moqaddam, director of Meybod’s Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

Mohammad Hassan Talebian, cultural heritage deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said on Tuesday the city’s historical texture “must be restored inch by inch to its original state using all available documents”, and called on law enforcement to help bring the culprits to justice.

“Those responsible must be punished for destroying history and upsetting the residents of the city who care deeply about their cultural heritage,” he said.

In 2011, the research institute prepared a plan for the development of the tomb of Sheikh Mohammad in Khanqah, which ensured no harm would come to the historical texture.

“What happened here doesn’t comply with the objectives of the plan,” Moqaddam said.

Referring to the event as “the biggest destruction” in Meybod in recent history, the official said the historical structures in the district were knocked down during the long weekend (July 29-30), which made it impossible to stop.

“The protection unit staff went to the scene immediately and prepared a report in cooperation with the law enforcement, but the judge on duty did not issue an order to stop the destruction because it was a holiday,” he explained.

Moqaddam added that the research center will pursue the case through legal channels until the ruined structures are restored to their former state.