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Masouleh's Dossier for World Registration Prepared

Tehran, 8 September 2007 (CHN) - The dossier of Masouleh village has been submitted to Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) to be studied for inscribing this Iranian national heritage site in list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sties. This is while construction activities by some non-domestic people still continues in the area.

Announcing this news, Nikvarz Mobarhen Shafiee, head of Masouleh's Cultural Heritage Base told CHN: "The dossier for Masouleh's world registration has been prepared. While according to an UNESCO expert, enjoying just one required condition is enough for inscribing a site in list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, Masouleh historic village enjoys more than 4 qualifications for being registered in this list."

He further lamented that by construction villas and residential settlements in this historic village, some governmental organizations and non-domestic people have intruded the cultural landscape and historical texture of this national heritage site.

One of the other important problems in this regard which has caused a lot of concern among cultural heritage experts is the recent project of Iran's Ministry of Road and Transportation for widening the road of Fouman to Masouleh which has already come into force.

"Since this road is located in cultural landscape of this historic village, it enjoys a high sensitivity to UNESCO's experts. This is while authorities of Iran's Ministry of Road and Transportation have started the project without consulting with us. Although we have succeeded in bringing the villa construction activities in the region under control to some extent, continuation of this project would put the chance of Masouleh's world registration in risk," added Shafiee.

Pointing out that Masouleh village is an important tourism destination in northern Iran; Shafiee warned about the potential negative harms to the cultural and natural context of this historic village due to rushing of a large number of tourists to the area during specific periods of year. "Some interactions have been made between Masouleh Research Base and its municipality in this regard," added Safiee.

Located approximately 60 kilometers southwest of city of Rasht in Iranian northern province of Gilan, Masouleh is one of the most ancient villages in Iran established around 1006 BC. Masouleh historic village enjoys a unique architectural style. The buildings have been built in the mountain and are interconnected and the courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Due to its unique layout, no motor vehicle is permitted to enter the city. This way it is the only village in Iran with such a prohibition, actually the narrow streets and many stairs also would not make it possible for vehicles to enter. The spectacular architectural style of Masouleh is well-known as "The yard of the above building is the roof of the below building." Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masouleh, which provide the chance for better visibility in the fog.

Historic village of Masouleh is the first Iranian city which has been completely registered in list of Iran's National Heritage sites and now cultural heritage experts are putting a lot of effort to prepare the ground for its world registration.

Soudabeh Sadigh

... Payvand News - 9/8/07 ... --

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