Iran and Italy here Sunday signed an agreement to cooperate in drawing up a plan aimed at reinforcing the 'Iran-Bastan' Museum's structure and to implement a renovation scheme, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The agreement was signed between Managing Director of Iran National Museum Orgaization Mohammad Reza Kargar and Italian Foreign Ministry representative Fabritzio Agua.
Italy has allocated 70,000 euros for this purpose, Kargar said adding "if work goes according to the plan the museum's space will be enlarged four-fold to about 12,000 square meters."
He said the plan is slated to take one-year. Although the museum was build over 60 years ago, no change has been carried out to its structure, therefore reinforcement and renovation of the building is necessary, he added.
The Italian official who is also the senior experts on cultural heritage at the country's foreign ministry said that Italy is nation well-endowed in the upkeep and renovation of museums.
"The agreement calls for a structual reinforcment plan and renovation of museums's interior design, decoration, lighting, and security."
Three groups of architects, museum curators, and historians will also cooperate in the project, the Italian official added.
Meanwhile, in another cooperation in cultural affirs between the two nations, a group of Italian archaeologists are due in Iran to study ways of rebuilding the quake-stricken city of Bam and its ancient Citadel, Arg-e Bam almost destroyed by a recent strong earthquake, a senior Italian official announced earlier in Januray.
Head of the Mediterranean and Middle East Office of the Italian foreign ministry Ricardo Sessa told IRNA that a plan on rebuilding Arg-e Bam will be devised through cooperation among Iran, Italy and UNESCO.
The former Italian ambassador to Iran said that other countries should play their technical part in rebuilding Arg-e Bam since it belongs to the civilization and history of the world.
All historical documents, the current situation of the Citadel and pictures prepared by satellites and other measures taken so far should be studied thoroughly in order to gather accurate information in order to rebuild Arg-e Bam as it had been constructed, the Italian official added.
Sessa who had visited Arg-e Bam several times during his tenure in Iran, reiterated that no country like Italy could understand the extent of damage inflicted on Arg-e Bam. "We will remain beside Iran and its people until rebuilding the ancient Citadel is completed."
The city of Bam, in Kerman province southeastern Iran, is home to the oldest and biggest mud-brick structure citadel of the world which is almost flattened by a quake which Bam on December 26, killing tens of thousands of people.
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