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Bushehr's Historic Texture Pending Restorations

By Maryam Tabeshian

Lack of a clear plan and map of the historic texture of Bushehr together with funding shortages and more importantly lack of accountability have resulted in gradual destruction of the city's historic texture.

Borazjan Castle, Bushehr province,southwest Iran

Tehran, 9 December 2006 (CHN) -- While Iranian cultural heritage authorities and provincial officials of Bushehr have repeatedly promised to revive the province's historic texture, historic monuments of this southwestern Iranian province are being destroyed further each day.

Lack of a clear restoration plan, funding shortages, poor coordination between those responsible for preservation of ancient monuments, and on top of that lack of accountability on the part of the officials have all led to gradual destruction of the region's historic texture which spans over a 30 hectare area.

This is while director of Bushehr's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, Ali Dashti, had clearly stated in his inauguration ceremony that "Establishment of workshops and technical laboratories to preserve and restore Bushehr's historic monuments is one of the most important programs of the Department;" however, not much action is taken place in this regard.

According to Dashti's deputy director in preservation and restoration of historic monuments, Ali Zakeri, lack of funding is the major obstacle in restoring the province's old texture: "Only 7 percent of the requested budget has been approved which amounts for 200,000 USD which is still far from being sufficient for this project."

Moreover, one of the Department's restoration experts, Morteza Sheikhi, says that 170,000 USD has already been allocated to the restoration project while the budget necessary for such massive project is 50,000,000 USD. He also said that a plan to revive Bushehr's old bazaar has been submitted to the Cultural Heritage Department, but has not come into force yet.

The project to restore Bushehr's historic monuments must also involve other organizations such as Bushehr Municipality and Governor Office, yet the officials keep passing the responsibility off to each other.

Director of the technical department of Bushehr Governor Office, Mohammad-Hassan Basi, says that restoration of Bushehr's historic texture is not in the Office's agenda. On the other hand, the Municipality's deputy director in urban development, Mohammad Ebrahim Forouzani, also says that no common idea exists in the Municipality regarding restoration of Bushehr's ancient monuments as some believe the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Cultural Heritage Department.

In an interview with CHN, Ali Moqateli, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development of Bushehr province, expressed concern over the trend of destruction of Bushehr's historic texture and said: "We are very concerned about Bushehr's historic texture and are witnessing its destruction every day such that two third of this old texture is now turning into wrecks." The official also said that in 1998, some of the buildings which were located within this old texture were purchased from their owners and were turned into centers for anthropological studies; however, he added that preservation and restoration activities in Bushehr seized after that.

Director of Bushehr's Department of Housing and Urban Development expressed hope that more attention be given to restoration of the province's old texture to keep it from complete obliteration.

... Payvand News - 12/11/06 ... --

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