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Fire Threatening to Burn Down Iran's Cultural Heritage Sites

Source : Irandaily

The destruction caused by fire at Tehran's Masoudieh Palace, whose ceiling had unique mirror works, has sounded out a note of warning for officials in charge of the cultural heritage sites that the same threat is looming for other historical edifices.

In the 1990s, a fire in the old building of the National Consultative Council destroyed 70 percent of the building.

Though the building was later restored, those in charge of the cultural heritage did not devise any plans to deal with potential threats of fire which is very real since the wooden frames of old buildings made them prone to fire in case of any short circuit.

"Fire can break out at cultural heritage sites suddenly or unexpectedly, as was the case in Masoudieh Palace, leaving little or no time for the workers to reach for the fire extinguishers," the daily said.

Director of Protection Department of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Rahmatollah Raouf said that the fire extinguishing facility should be effective and activated with the speed of the fire spreads. I mean we should be provided with advanced firefighting system in the historical buildings. All of the historical buildings have gable roof with wooden frame and when the woodworks in the structure of the buildings age they become drier and more prone to fire, Raouf said.

The official likened fire to a bomb threatening the existence of cultural heritage sites.

On the need to provide the guardians of cultural heritage sites with advanced fire engines and training them to take immediate action to extinguish the fire, he said that the authorities of cultural heritage should not pin hope on the city's firefighting service since the fire engines arrive much later than they should.

On the other hand, the conventional way of fighting the fire in cultural sites are detrimental for them, he said adding, "For example, the large amount of water used to extinguish the fire undermines the old structures making the old walls vulnerable to collapse.

... Payvand News - 11/30/04 ... --

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