People, Travel

Shams Palace Not Yet Under ICHHTO Ownership

The palace was built in the early 70s by the Wright Foundation.The palace was built in the early 70s by the Wright Foundation.

The Administrative Justice Court has ruled in favor of transferring the ownership of Shams Palace in Alborz Province to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization but the verdict is not yet final

“The plaintiff (Mostazafan Foundation) still has three weeks to appeal the ruling, so nothing is yet final,” Abdolnasser Mirchi, the head of the provincial ICHHTO office, was quoted as saying by Iran Online.

Shams Palace, also known as Pearl Palace, is a large estate designed by Taliesin Associated Architects and built by the Wright Foundation on the order of Shams Pahlavi, an older sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the second and last king of the Pahlavi dynasty that was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It was built in the early 1970s in Mehrshahr near Karaj.

Following the revolution, Mostazafan Foundation seized all assets owned by the royal family, including Shams Palace. However, given the cultural importance and historical significance of the site, a portion of the asset was transferred to ICHHTO.

Nevertheless, the organization cannot begin restoring the site and opening it to the public until it is the full owner of Shams Palace.

“The Roads and Urban Development Ministry is required to provide the foundation with a piece of land in Tehran or Alborz Province as a replacement for the historical site so that they can build houses for the poor,” Mirchi said.

The foundation has apparently agreed with the decision, on condition that it receives a plot of land of the same size and value, according to the official.

Mirchi noted that the palace is a national heritage site and no development projects are permitted in or around the site.

Restoring the site requires 300-500 billion rials ($8-13 million) but work cannot start unless the deed is delivered to ICHHTO.  

The property is being considered as a potential site for the establishment of Alborz Museum.

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