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Fars Historical Houses Demolished Illegally

Fars Historical Houses Demolished IllegallyFars Historical Houses Demolished Illegally

Two historical houses in Lar, a city in Fars Province, have been demolished illegally, said the head of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Khashayar Shabani added that Sharifi Mansion and Bibi Mahak were destroyed, despite ICHHTO's opposition.

Describing the heritage sites as "too old to be safe", the owner had applied for demolition permits several times, claiming that the building posed a threat to the neighborhood, particularly pedestrians.

However, cultural heritage authorities said the only possible measure was "emergency restoration", ISNA quoted Shabani as saying.

"The owner then tried to go through legal channels, but we asked the court to give us time to restore the structures."

Nevertheless, the owner went ahead and demolished both buildings on March 30, despite the lack of a permit by the authorities.

Boasting Qajari-era architecture, with a pond in the center of the yard, both houses were illegally torn down.

It was not immediately clear if ICHHTO would pursue legal action against the owner.

There has been an alarming rise in similar incidents over the past few months.

In July 2016, news broke that the historical house of Queen Touran, the third wife of Reza Pahlavi, the first Pahlavi king, was partially destroyed overnight despite opposition from Tehran's cultural heritage authority.

In December, it was reported that the owner of Villa Namazee in Tehran's affluent Niavaran neighborhood was set to demolish the iconic 1960s building to build a 20-floor hotel.

Activists staged an online campaign to save the building.

Designed by the famed Italian architect Gio Ponti, Villa Namazee forms part of an influential trio of properties by Ponti, along with Villa Planchart and Villa Arreaza, both in Caracas, Venezuela.

To help save the building, Matthew Licitra, Ponti's grandson, said he would travel to Tehran.


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