Hamedan's Three Historical Sites Flattened

Hamedan's Three Historical Sites FlattenedHamedan's Three Historical Sites Flattened

Three heritage structures in the historical zones of Hamedan, locally known as Chaman, were flattened on Sunday by the municipality reportedly to make way for the construction of a multi-storey car park and expansion of green spaces.

Chaman has long been used to refer to the center of historical neighborhoods in the province, around which urban structures had developed through time.

Hamedan used to house over 50 Chamans, of which only six have partly survived, ISNA reported.

According to Hossein Zandi, a cultural heritage activist, the three demolished historical mansions, namely Shams and Bahrami, dating back to Qajar Dynasty (1785-1925) and Ekhlasi belonging to Pahlavi era (1925–79), were comparatively the most intact.

"Hamedan is now left with no exemplar representing the Chaman concept," he said.

Earlier in 2016, a scheme for restoration of half-ruined historical structures was launched by the Urban Development and Revitalization Organization of Iran and Bu-Ali Sina University in the province, with a budget of 30 billion rials ($680,000) allocated by (the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development).

Feasibility studies on the restoration project were underway, until Hossein Moradi took office as Hamedan's mayor in October 2017 adopted new policies concerning the issue.

It turned out that the properties were purchased by the municipality and the officials decided to convert the age-old buildings to a parking.

This is while Ebrahim Molavi, the head of Hamedan's City Council, declared that the destroyed structures were of no historical value, "otherwise ICHHTO wouldn't have issued the demolition permit".

According to the official, none of the destroyed mansions was inscribed on the National Heritage List.

"The buildings were deemed timeworn and even dangerous for public security. They also hampered urban construction," he said. Ali Malmir, the head of provincial office of ICHHTO, did not confirm the issuance of permits and vaguely stated that the demolition in Chaman Kababian was illegal and will be investigated.

There have been many contradictory comments about the issue and no official has taken responsibility for the destruction of cultural heritage or presented a compelling justification.


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