TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Zanjan Cultural
Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (ZCHTHD) director denied issuance
of any permit by the ZCHTHD for construction projects currently threatening the
Soltanieh Dome world heritage monument.
"Construction at the perimeter of the Soltanieh Dome is illegal and in addition to that, the ZCHTHD has sued the Soltanieh Municipality for its issuance of a license for the projects," Farhang Farrokhi told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Soltanieh Municipality announced that they had previously obtained a document signed by the ZCHTHD, approving the construction projects.
"By no means has such a signature been issued; I had just previously signed a copy of minutes of a meeting, in which we agreed that a license for the construction projects would be issued only after the ZCHTHD ascertained their environmental and legal compatability," Farrokhi noted.
"Afterwards, the ZCHTHD decided not to issue a permit for any construction project on the perimeter of the monument, so the signature on the minutes is irrelevant," he added.
"The officials of the municipality have used my signature on the minutes for issuing a license. This move is considered as fraud and can be prosecuted. We suspect that forgery was also committed and that the court will make it clear."
These remarks had been made over three weeks after some reports on this issue published by newspapers and news agencies.
The reports accused the Soltanieh Dome's former and present officials as well as the ZCHTHD of issuing a permit for construction of 64 shops in the Talebieh area, under which are buried part of the ruins of the historic city of Soltanieh and its congregational mosque.
In late December 2008, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office expressed concern about the construction projects threatening the Soltanieh Dome, an Ilkhanid monument registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Soltanieh, the mausoleum of Oljaitu, was constructed from 1302 to 1312 in the city of Soltanieh, the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty founded by the Mongols.
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