125 Inscriptions Await Documentation

125 Inscriptions  Await Documentation125 Inscriptions  Await Documentation

Iran is home to a multitude of historically and culturally significant sites. For the sake of preservation, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization inscribes any site or monument that requires special attention on the National Heritage List.

Any listed heritage, tangible or intangible, is well documented and has its own file locked away in some office at the organization—at least, that is what one would think.

In an exclusive report, Mehr News Agency revealed that 125 inscribed heritages are not documented and lack official files. Even more confounding, the report claims that some of those heritages were nominated by the organization for a UNESCO listing.

The heritages, inscribed by the past two governments, highlight the unplanned and rushed attitude of those in charge to pad the National Heritage List as much as possible as evidence for the organization’s effort to preserve cultural heritage.

Registered sites did not have their boundaries set, and in some cases departments responsible for their safekeeping were not made aware of their inscription, according to the report.

  Careless Dossier Preparation

Ten intangible heritages were nominated for UNESCO-listed status, but they were all categorically rejected due to incomplete dossiers prepared unprofessionally. That is why rain rituals and traditional Iranian medicine were never inscribed, and “Chogan”, or Polo, and the “tar”, a Persian musical instrument, were inscribed by other countries.

Previous officials’ careless attitude may very well cost Iran dear in future and the country may lose out on inscribing other heritages whose origins are rooted deep in Iranian culture.

  Root of the Problem

The root cause of the problem that may very well plague Iran for the foreseeable future is the previous officials’ desire to associate their names with the listing of countless heritages without accepting the responsibility that came with it.

The report suggests that authorities knew that they would not be in charge of ICHHTO long enough to see the inscription of Iran’s heritages on the World Heritage List, so they remained content will the national listing of the abovementioned sites and did not bother with the paperwork.

The case of the missing files was not made public until Mehdi Hojjat, a former deputy director at ICHHTO, said a while ago that there were over 100 inscriptions on the list that lacked documentation.

There have been talks about taking measures to properly document and prepare files for the 125 listed heritages. It is imperative to address the problem as soon as possible, for the sake of the heritages poised for inscription on a UNESCO list.