Plans to Remove Obstacles to Kandovan’s Global Inscription

Plans are underway to remove impediments in the way of Kandovan's global inscription
Kandovan Village is a wonderful example of manmade cliff dwelling that is still inhabited.Kandovan Village is a wonderful example of manmade cliff dwelling that is still inhabited.

As part of efforts to prepare the historical village of Kandovan in West Azarbaijan Province for UNESCO inscription, cultural heritage authorities have initiated plans to improve the aesthetic features of the village.

Kandovan's dossier for global inscription was set to be prepared in 2014, but was not ready due to a number of obstacles including illegal constructions that tarnished the face of the village.

However, officials are determined to remove the obstacles by implementing the plans, Mehr News Agency reported.  

In line with the plans, 96 illegally built houses in the village will be demolished as per the directive based on Article 100 of municipal laws.

According to the directive, houses that are inharmonious with the historical texture of the village will be knocked down and their residents will be offered a patch of land in return plus low-interest loans to build a house.

Morteza Abdar, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said since the targeted buildings have been constructed on private-owned property but without municipality permits, their residents will be offered "an equal area of land and not a building".

According to the official, the directive will be implemented as soon as the loans are paid to the villagers.

"The other issue pertains to advertisements and billboards. The locals install signs for house rentals or product sales throughout the village, messing up its appearance and marring its architectural beauty," Abdar said.

"Over 760 banners have been removed so far, but it's almost pointless because the villagers replace the billboards at peak travel times when the entry of tourists surges."

The official called on locals to cooperate in preserving the image of the village because the global inscription will eventually be to their own benefit.

Accommodation is another issue that has to be organized.

"Currently, there are only four licensed ecolodges in the village, but locals can apply for renting permits once they refurbish their homes to meet the accommodation standards," he said.

Directing wastewater outside of the village, installing underground electrical power cables, organizing bazaars and excluding foreign products from local handicrafts and goods markets and allocating sufficient space for car parking are among other measures needed for the village to acquire a world heritage status.    

"These restorative plans are expected to be efficiently implemented by 2018," he said.

Kandovan Village is a wonderful example of manmade cliff dwelling that is still inhabited. At first glance, the landscape of the village contains erratic sharp-pointed cones with holes in them.

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