UNESCO Set to Register Lut Desert, Qanats by 2016

UNESCO Set to Register Lut Desert, Qanats by 2016UNESCO Set to Register Lut Desert, Qanats by 2016

Lut Desert along with 11 qanats are set to be registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list by the end of 2015, ILNA reported, quoting the deputy director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Mohamad Hassan Talebian.

“We have been cooperating with official bodies, such as the Department of Environment and the energy ministry, to make this happen,” Talebian said.

Speaking of the recent addition of a number of bien meubles (or moveable property) to Iran’s National Heritage list after 80 years, Talebian said, “Iran is currently home to 31,500 tangible cultural heritage, as well as 1160 intangible ones. It is imperative to register as many as possible in as quickly as we can to avoid losing them to the annals of history.”

Tangible cultural heritage refer to physical artifacts such as books and works of art, while intangible heritage comprises folklore and traditions, among others.

Lut Desert, locally called Dasht-e Lut, is a salt desert in northeastern Kerman Province, and is the 25th largest desert in the world. The desert is also one of hottest spots on Earth and recorded the highest temperature ever measured on the planet in 2005; 70.7 Celsius.

Qanats were first built circa 1000 B.C. by Persians and were used to extract groundwater in the dry mountain basins in present-day Iran. Known as one of the most sophisticated systems of traditional irrigation, qanats provide 75% of water used in Iran today.