UNESCO to Help Restore Quake-Stricken Monuments in Iran

UNESCO to Help Restore Quake-Stricken MonumentsUNESCO to Help Restore Quake-Stricken Monuments

Experts from UNESCO have started field studies in the quake-stricken Kermanshah Province to help restore heritage sites damaged in the recent earthquake.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the province and regions bordering Iraq on Nov. 12, killing over 500 people and injuring thousands of others.

Some of the province's monuments have been strongly rocked by the quake, compelling heritage authorities to take restorative measures, travel website Donyaye Safar reported.

After receiving a general report by Mohammad Hassan Talebian, cultural heritage deputy at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, UNESCO deployed a delegation on Dec. 13 to survey the damaged monuments included in the tentative list of world heritage.

The survey showed Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, Khosrow Mansion and Chahar-Qapi in Qasr-e Shirin, Yazdgerd Castle in Dalahou and Zaj Manijeh in Sarpol-Zahab were the most affected sites. However, the country’s oldest petroglyphs, Anubanini rock relief and Taqe Gara Fort in Sarpol-Zahab survived the quake.

"UNESCO's experts, together with Iranian heritage specialists, are currently working to prepare a detailed account of the damaged monuments and historical buildings," Talebian said.

The official said ICHHTO is seeking UNESCO's technical and financial support to restore the ancient structures. Apart from the heritage sites, restoration of village buildings will also be put on the agenda as they also boast of historical architectural qualities.

"Although the materials were not strong enough to survive the tremors, their historical features cannot be denied," he added.

Talebian suggested that international contributions could also be used for the province's tourism facilities that were also damaged by the natural disaster.

"Efficient plans can help direct tourists of other popular destinations like Isfahan and Fars provinces toward Kermanshah's villages and suburbs, which are still attractive despite the ruins," he said. Strong aftershocks have followed the massive earthquake, making it difficult for heritage experts to accurately estimate the extent of damage or start restoration projects while the tremors continue.    


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