People, Travel

Private Investments Restore Cultural Sites in Kerman

Private Investments Restore Cultural Sites in KermanPrivate Investments Restore Cultural Sites in Kerman

The private sector has spent over 400 billion rials ($10.6 m) on restoration of cultural heritage sites in the southeastern province of Kerman, the director of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said.

Vakil Caravansary, Aminian Mansion, Haj Aqa Ali Caravansary, Haj Ali Rafsanjan Mansion, and Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine are but a handful of sites that have been or are being restored, CHTN quoted Mahmoud Vafaei as saying.

Kerman is one of the oldest regions of Iran. It is home to a myriad of cultural heritage and historical sites, which can attract both domestic and foreign tourists provided they are renovated and promoted. According to the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places (known by its Persian acronym Sabta), renovation projects are a priority for the government as deterioration of ancient structures can negatively affect the tourism industry in the province.

Vafaei said attitude toward historical places in ruins has changed since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013, with sites of heritage seen as opportunities for developing tourism.

"Twenty workshops will be set up in cooperation with NGOs tasked with restoring historical sites," he said, adding that the government cannot fund restoration projects without the aid of private investors.

Sabta aims to cede 100 buildings to the private sector every year for restoration, which means 1,084 buildings will be ready for use by the end of the 2025 Vision Plan.

The second largest province in Iran, Kerman is one of the oldest inhabited regions in the Middle East. Human settlement in the area dates back to 4,000 BC, making Kerman a paradise for archeologists.  The province is home to numerous natural and historical attractions which, with proper planning and investment, can be used to attract tourists and help boost the economy.


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