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UNESCO Director-General Worried about Isfahan Naghsh-e Jahan

Isfahan, Mar. 27 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) - UNESCO Director-General, Ko´chiro Matsuura, who is in Isfahan, has expressed his concern over the fate of the world-famous square of Naghsh-e Jahan which is endangered by the construction of Jahan Nama building in its vicinities.

Jahan Nama is a 13-storey, 48-meter-high building, located 700 meters from the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, which, according to the experts from UNESCO and Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHTO), endangers the perimeters of the famous historical square of Isfahan registered as a World Heritage Site.

Matsuura, attending a dinner banquet held by the governor of Isfahan, expressed his consent of the attempts by the Iranian President, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, and officials of the ICHTO and the Isfahan Governing Office, yet seemed really worried about the site being added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.

Similar cases have existed where sites have been registered on the List of Heritage in Danger, with the possibility of their removal from the UNESCO List of World Heritage, Matsuura explains, introducing Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, as an example.

Kathmandu Valley was inscribed as a world heritage site in 1979, but due to uncontrolled urban development disturbing the exceptional architecture of the area and negligence of the Nepal government in saving the site, it was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003. According to Matsuura, the inscription is a warning to Nepal government and the next step would be the complete removal of the valley from the World Heritage List.

According to Matsuura, many do not take the UNESCO warning seriously, but UNESCO is closely following the construction of Jahan Nama building and the endangered situation of Naghsh-e Jahan Square.

... Payvand News - 3/27/05 ... --

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