Thousands of Iranian historical monuments still to be registered

TEHRAN, Oct. 27 (MNA) – National Library has hosted a ceremony commemorating October 27, the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage announced by UNESCO.

Masoud Soltanifar, Head of Cultural Heritage Organization, told the meeting that registration of 49 Iranian historical monuments would need 40 years of working, since UNESCO had allocated only one quota for every country to be registered in its World Heritage List. “As one of the most important achievements of humanity in the 20th century, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has played a crucial role in different fields of culture, science, and education,” he lavished praise on the organization; “our experts estimate that Iran is home to about 1 million monument and sites; since 1930, when the first Iranian law on protection of historical monuments passed in the Parliament, about 32,000 sites, fields, and monuments had been added to National Site Heritage List, of which only 19 monuments have succeeded to find a place in World Heritage List, with only 3 registered in the current government,” he told detailed.

Soltanifar even went on to say that at the present, “about 1,500-2,000 sites, fields, and monuments are estimated to have the potentials for a place in UNESCO list, which have not even registered in national level.”

“Using the quota remaining from past years, we registered two historical monuments this year, namely, Meimand and Shusha historical sites; the threats and hazards looming the collective human memory are not of technical or matters of identity; rather, a new term ‘cultural de-generation’ would define the real nasty thing threatening the documented global heritage and collective memory,” he told the meeting. “They are smuggling, burglary, destruction, and other sorts of vandalizing activities around the world,” Soltanifar added.  

Mohammad Farhadi, Minister of Science, Research and Technology also addressed the meeting, praising UNESCO’s efforts to issue warnings to nations on preserving their cultural, scientific, spiritual, and biological heritage. He believed that UNESCO’s policies was well in harmony with those of Iran; “I am very pleased to tell you that 9 outstanding Iranian heritage is on the UNESCO list; the recent act by the organization in registering Sa’di’s ‘Complete Works’ and ‘al-Masālik w'al- Mamālik’ (‘The Book of Roads and Kingdoms’), a 9th-century geography text by the Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh, is laudable,” he told the meeting. “There is a host of prestigious artwork and literary masterpieces, well-qualified by UNESCO standards and a little leverage would place them in the organization’s list,” Farhadi asserted.

Still a third speaker, Seyed Reza Amiri, the Head of Iranian National Library, criticized in his speech, the sheer incompetence of the popular media in eulogizing and commemorating the registration of the country’s historical monument; “Any country around the world would celebrate such event in the largest scope as possible; however, I would not blame anyone other than myself for the fault,” he admitted.

Amiri urged a redefinition of the concept of capital; “we should know what capital is and who is capital owner. The reality is that the major capital is of human, cultural, social, and religious nature; no virtue would add to the greatness of the Iranians than its very culture, civilization, and heritage which shines like a pearl in the world,” he argued. “Today, our civilization challenges those of other civilizations on earth; we do take pride that two of our thousands of historical monuments, invaluable as they are, have been registered in prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List; however, the duty remains with us to introduce these pearls of ours to the public,” he demanded.




News Code 111419


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