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Tehran Municipality Suspends Construction Project Near Golestan Palace

Tehran Municipality Suspends Construction Project Near Golestan Palace Tehran Municipality Suspends Construction Project Near Golestan Palace

Tehran Municipality's illegal excavation near Golestan Palace, Tehran's only world heritage site, has been suspended upon the request of a cultural heritage authority.

Golestan Palace was added to the list of world heritage sites at the 37th session of World Heritage Committee in Cambodia in 2007. It is located in Tehran's historical texture in District 12.

Three months ago, TM started the construction of an underpass connecting four sides of the Galoubandak Crossroads (where the palace is located), to facilitate access to Panzdeh Khordad metro station.

"But the construction has infringed on Golestan Palace's buffer zone," Rajabali Khosroabadi, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Cultural heritage sites are demarcated by buffer zones that are divided into three areas, with Zone 1 being the closest to and Zone 3 furthest from the main site.

A buffer zone provides an additional layer of protection to a historical or cultural property, separating it from other sites and ensuring no harm comes to the site.

Any construction, manipulation and division within the determined zones and any alteration or activity that causes damage to the facade, land and building of a historical or cultural site is prohibited.

UNESCO's regulations state that any activity, from archeological studies to development project, in or around a world heritage site must be approved by the local cultural heritage authority. However, Khosroabadi said his office did not issue any permit for the construction of the underpass.

In a letter to the municipality, the official urged the authorities to halt construction until the projects maps and details are studied by the experts of ICHHTO.

 "Until our studies are complete, the protection unit of the organization will safeguard the area," he added.

ICHHTO's delay in detecting and suspending the project is rather ironic, as the cultural heritage wing of the organization is located in the same area.

Carelessness on the part of officials in protecting Golestan Palace from construction and development projects in its vicinity has reportedly led to a 100-meter land subsidence around the heritage site, according to the Persian-language daily Iran.


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