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Isfahan Municipality still slighting modification of Jahan-Nama Tower

Source: Mehr News Agency

The Isfahan Municipality continues to snub UNESCO's World Heritage Committee's plea to modifiy the Jahan-Nama Tower. The tower spoils the horizontal panorama of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, a complex of historical monuments registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979.

The committee called for modification of the Jahan-Nama during its 28th session on July 1, 2004. It set a deadline, which was extended several times following requests by Iranian cultural officials.

Journalists visit the Jahan-Nama Tower after the police broke the lock of the doors at the upper floors of the structure on February 25, 2010. (Photo by Mehr)

UNESCO threatened to place the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger if Iran failed to fulfill its obligation to modify the tower. However, no modification has been completed.

Iran also missed UNESCO's February 1 deadline for modifying the Jahan-Nama Tower. However, no comment has been published by UNESCO about this issue so far.

Jahan Nama is towering over the historic Naqsh-e Jahan Square

Afterwards, some of the Iranian press turned the spotlight on the issue again. Consequently, officials from the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO), the Isfahan Municipality and members of the Isfahan City Council jointly visited Jahan-Nama and said that modification of the tower would be resumed soon.

A number of journalists visited the tower on Thursday to report on progress of the modifications, but found locked doors on the upper floors, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported.

The journalists' request to inspect the site also met with rebuffs by the municipality's staff at the tower.

The police broke the lock by order of the Isfahan's general governor and journalists were able to visit the upper stories of the tower.

According to reports published subsequently, no significant recent work has been carried out by the municipality in modifying the tower.

In addition, Isfahan deputy mayor Morteza Hesamnejad refused to attend a press conference, which was to be held at the tower.

The Isfahan Municipality began construction of the Jahan-Nama Tower in early 1996.

The municipality flattened a historical caravanserai and a green area to build the 56-meter tower, which covers an area of 16,000 square meters.

The construction of the tower aroused desultory opposition by Iranian cultural heritage enthusiasts and institutions.

UNESCO called for the modification of Jahan-Nama. The organization determined that the height of the tower on its eastern side should be reduced by 12 meters and the height of its western side by 24.48 meters.

Although modification began in 2005, the Isfahan Municipality has failed to complete the task so far.

... Payvand News - 02/26/10 ... --

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