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UNESCO's demand on Jahan Nama not met by deadline

By Soudabeh Sadigh
Although the deadline for reducing the height of Jahan Nama Tower was reached on February 1st, the project has not been completed yet.

View of Jahan Nama from Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Tehran, 3 February 2007 (CHN) -- The deadline set by UNESCO for modification of Jahan Nama Tower in the city of Isfahan was finally reached on 1st of February while lowering the height of the Tower has not been completed yet.
Based on UNESCO’s earlier demand, the Iranian government was expected to reduce the height of Jahan Nama by 12 meters on its eastern side and 24.48 meters on its western side by 1st of February 2007 in order to save the world heritage site of Naqsh-e Jahan Square from being placed in the list of UNESCO’s Endangered World Heritage Sites.  
According to Reza Dolatyar, director of the project for modification of Jahan Nama Tower, in order to observe UNESCO’s requirement in this project, two more stories of Jahan Nama Tower must still be removed which will be conducted in one phase. “The project is now underway and all the required equipments for completing the project are settled in the area,” said Dolatyar to CHN.
However, based on previous announcements, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will decide on the fate of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in its 31st session which is due to be held in five months. Meanwhile, UNESCO’s representative has expressed his satisfaction on behalf of the Organization regarding the trend of Jahan Nama modification through an email which was sent to director of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Isfahan.
Modification of Jahan Nama Tower took more time than expected as experts were afraid that the concrete parts of the tower might collapse by removing the first two stories. Thus the first phase of the project took nearly 6 months to be completed. On the other hand, lack of coordination between the government office and municipality of Isfahan suspended modification of the Tower for a few more months which is why the project could not be finished before the deadline.
According to the office of public relations of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Isfahan province, Junko Taniguchi, programme specialist in culture who works for UNESCO cluster office in Tehran, has expressed the Organization’s satisfaction about the cooperation of Iran in this project. Taniguchi will go to Isfahan next week to observe the trend of modification closely.
In an interview with CHN, Dr. Jukka Julilehto, senior counselor of UNESCO who works with this international organization to evaluate and designate world heritage sites, pointed out to the importance of Naqsh-e Jahan historic square and the high level of concern among cultural heritage enthusiasts regarding the fate of Naqsh-e Jahan Square as a world heritage site. “Although we have still not received a formal report about the trend of Iran’s activities to rescue the cultural landscape of Naqsh-e Jahan historic site, we do hope that the Iranian cultural heritage authorities are aware of the importance of this decision and its positive consequences on future cultural activities,” said Jokilehto to CHN.     
Located west of Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Jahan Nama Tower still spoils the aerial buffer zone of the square which contains a complex of monuments registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979.
The Clock is Ticking Fast for Naqsh-e Jahan Square 

... Payvand News - 2/4/07 ... --

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