TEHRAN -- UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif opened an exhibition of a collection of historical maps in Tehran on Saturday. Iranian officials and foreign diplomats also attended the opening ceremony of the "Maps from the Qajar Period" exhibition at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).
The collection, dating back to the 19th century, was registered on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register list in June 2013.
In address at the ceremony, Bokova said that UNESCO is making the utmost efforts to preserve the world's cultural and historical documents.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova
She expressed gratitude to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its activities in the preservation of cultural heritage and thanked the Iranian experts who helped restore the rare collection.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Zarif said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs possesses a priceless collection of documents, a small part of which has been registered on the UNESCO list.
The collection "Maps from the Qajar Period" consists of 500 unique hand-drawn and lithographic geographical maps that are kept at the Center for Documentation and Research Services of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Most of the collection consists of maps of Iran and nearby regions. Some of the maps show the territories that have been separated from Iran over the centuries as a result of political events. And some of the maps bear the signatures of officials and political and cultural figures of the time in the margins.
Bokova arrived in Tehran on Friday. She is scheduled to travel to Kerman Province to visit the Bam Citadel.
She will also visit Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and the mausoleums of Hafez and Sadi in Fars Province, and the Chehel Sotun Palace and Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan during her sojourn in Iran.
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