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UNESCO plans to ask for explanation from Iran on Naqsh-e Rustam case

TEHRAN, June 24 (Mehr News Agency) -- Reports say that UNESCO has decided to ask Iran to give an explanation about the construction of a railway route near the Achaemenid site of Naqsh-e Rustam in Fars Province, Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation (PPRF) director told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.

Leading train through tunnel, only way to save Naqsh-e Rostam

Mohammad-Hassan Talebian added that the Iranian representative at the session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, underway in Christchurch in New Zealand, will likely be asked for details on the project.

A few years ago, the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) asked UNESCO to add Naqsh-e Rustam to the Persepolis dossier, which is on the World Heritage List.

Experts believe that UNESCO may hesitate in this undertaking due to the railroad project.

This session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will end July 2.

"A technical council has been established to investigate the railway route and to suggest possible solutions to the problem," Talebian explained.

The council has declared that the railroad should be constructed beside the transit road, which is located about one kilometer away from Naqsh-e Rustam, he noted.

"The council's ruling will be considered as the final decision of the CHTHO and the PPRF," Talebian said.

"The PPRF strongly opposes the construction of the railroad and will never allow it to encroach on the 500 meter boundary surrounding Naqsh-e Rustam."

Experts have said that if the railroad were to become operational, train vibrations would eventually damage the Naqsh-e Rustam monument and would cause the destruction of Zoroaster's Kaba in less than ten years.

... Payvand News - 6/24/07 ... --

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