The World Heritage Committee strongly urged Iran, particularly authorities in the historical city of Isfahan, to comply with Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization's (CHTO) order to trim down a landscape-scratching highrise near the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported on Thursday.
The technical committee of CHTO has long asked for the destruction of at least 24 meters from the back fašade of Jahan-Nama Tower and 12 meters from the one facing the Char-Bagh Street, on the grounds of distorting the awesome beauty of the ancient monuments, though it has so far fallen on deaf ears.
The World Heritage Committee, during its 28th session in China, set a Feb.1 deadline for Iran to submit a report on the progress made on the deconstruction work. The report will largely help UNESCO decide on the fate of the square in its 29th summit in Durban, South Africa.
UNESCO also encouraged CHTO to annex Isfahan's grand bazaar, grand mosque, south of Char-Bagh, Zayandeh River and its historical bridges to the heritage site of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. UNESCO has already warned the site inscribed on the World Heritage List risks being thrown out should the construction of Jahan-Nama went forward unchanged. The square, inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979, is a unique Iranian cultural heritage site visited every year by thousands of visitors. Built in the Safavid era, it includes two mosques, a palace and a bazaar.
Jahan-Nama is a 13-storey, 48-meter high building, located 700 meters from the square. Its height, UNESCO experts contend, compromises the view and skyline of the world famous square.
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