Yazd Inscription on UNESCO List Will Add to its Allure

If inscribed, Yazd will become the first UNESCO-listed historical city in which a large population continues to live
Yazd is believed to be the oldest adobe city in existence.Yazd is believed to be the oldest adobe city in existence.
Iran currently has 21 world heritage sites, more than any other country in the Middle East

If Yazd is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List next year, it could pave the way for inscribing other historical and adobe cities in the country, an Iranian official says.

Speaking at a meeting in Yazd late last week, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, cultural heritage deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said preparing the dossier for Yazd would not have been possible without the coordinated effort of authorities and activists.

“We prioritized Yazd’s inscription on the list and managed to prepare its dossier in time to submit to UNESCO last year,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Last October, experts from the France-based International Center for Earthen Architecture, CRAterre, traveled to Yazd to help officials compile the dossiers for the city’s inscription on the World Heritage List and help monitor and preserve its historical texture.

Located in central Iran, Yazd is believed to be the world’s oldest adobe city, boasting a historical texture covering 2,270 hectares, of which 170 hectares have been proposed for UNESCO-listed status.

An evaluator from UNESCO is currently in Yazd to prepare a report on features of the city as well as its conservation status and management.

“Once the report is sent to UNESCO, they’ll hand over the dossier to the International Council on Monuments and Sites to get their take on Yazd’s inscription,” Talebian said, adding that the final decision will be made during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (July 2017) in Krakow, Poland.

Restoring Yazd’s historical texture will no doubt help the city’s growth and dynamism–important factors in the eyes of UNESCO members.

The official said Yazd’s inscription on the coveted list will have a significant impact on the city’s tourism industry, as it will add a certain allure to its historical, religious and cultural attractions.

Iran’s UNESCO-listed cities, such as Shahr-e-Soukhteh, are all uninhabited, which would make Yazd the first city on the coveted list in which a large population continues to live.

Iran currently has 21 world heritage sites, more than any other country in the Middle East. Officials are planning to nominate Yazd and the Caspian Hyrcanian forests for global inscription next year, of which the latter has been on UNESCO’s tentative World Heritage List since 2007.