Iran News ...


1/3/07

Efforts for World Registration of Qara Kelisa Speeds Up

By Soudabeh Sadigh
 
Last efforts to prepare a full dossier for world registration of St. Thaddeus Church, known as Qara Kelisa, continues as the submission deadline is getting closer.
 

Church of Saint Thaddeus or Qara Kelisa
(The Black Church), northwest Iran
 
Tehran, 2 January 2007 (CHN) -- Experts of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) have speeded up their efforts to collect information and prepare a full dossier for St. Thaddeus Church, otherwise known as Qara Kelisa (Black Church), to be inscribed in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
 
January 31 is the deadline set by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for the submission of the file or else Qara Kelisa would lose its chance for being inscribed as a world heritage site in 2008.
 
This is while Qara Kelisa’s file had earlier been turned down by UNESCO last year since it did not include the necessary supportive evidence. However, considering the short time left to the deadline on the one hand, and the high competition among UNESCO state parties for world registration of their historic sites and monuments on the other, Iranian experts are not optimistic that this historic church would be accepted this time either as much work is still left to complete the file.
 
Every year, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee approves world registration of 30 sites and monuments from 200 state parties to UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, making registration of cultural heritage sites a highly competitive task.
 
According to Khosrow Fari, a restoration expert in Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of West Azarbaijan province, the Iranian cultural heritage experts are trying hard to complete the dossier by the given deadline and nominate this old church for world registration in 2008.
 
“Currently we can not say for sure what will happen for the file of Qara Kelisa; however, considering the efforts made by cultural heritage experts, we do hope that we can complete the file and submit it to UNESCO by the specified date to be considered as a world heritage nominee for the year 2008,” added Fari.
 
According to Fari, all the necessary documents for inscribing the Church are ready, but they must be well organize and documented before being submitted to UNESCO.
 
Recently, emergency restoration works on Saint Thaddeus Church came to an end in an important step to inscribe this ancient monument in UNESCO’s list in 2008.
 
Church of Saint Thaddeus, locally known as Qara Kelisa (The Black Church), was built 1700 years ago in the Iranian northwestern province of West Azarbaijan. A number of ancient churches exist in northwest Iran among which Qara Kelisa, St. Stepanous, and Zoorzoor are the most prominent due to their antiquity.
 
Emergency Restorations Completed on St. Thaddeus Church
 

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