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Iran Allows Foreign Archeologists to Excavate Sites

Iran has decided to allow reputable archeological teams to work on its historical sites in a bid to enrich local expertise, announced Hussein Marashi, president of Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) on Wednesday, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.

Attending a meeting of regional CHTO directors in the northeastern province of Khorasan, he emphasized on the importance of archeology as a science and said, "Expanding archeological projects would hopefully uproot plundering of historical sites and artifacts."

The deputy of Iranian President noted that Iran currently has over one million historical sites, whose records would be totally documented by experts by 2005. He stressed the need to safeguard cultural properties by deploying law enforcement officers and applying electronic surveillance systems.

He also said his organization has adopted a plan to grant permits to archeological teams whose scientific authenticity would be approved beforehand. Marashi did not elaborate when the first host of permits would be issued.

He further mentioned that CHTO intends to found specialized museums in Iran for the first time, and in that end, would buy out private properties.

... Payvand News - 8/13/04 ... --

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