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                                        Volume. 12119

UNESCO experts examine new construction projects near Isfahan Congregational Mosque
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The Isfahan Congregational Mosque in an undated photo
The Isfahan Congregational Mosque in an undated photo
TEHRAN -- A team of experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization arrived in the central Iranian city of Isfahan last week to scrutinize some new construction projects near the Isfahan Congregational Mosque, which was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2012.
 
UNESCO has expressed concern that the construction projects, which have been set up in Imam Ali (AS) Square near the mosque over the past few years, may threaten the world heritage site.
 
So far, the UNESCO experts have found no threat from the nearby new construction to the mosque, Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (ICHTHD) Director Mohsen Moslehi told the Persian service of IRNA on Wednesday.   
 
“All construction projects near the historical sites and monuments must be carried out under the supervision of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization,” he noted.
 
“Due to the fact that the Isfahan Congregational Mosque is a world cultural heritage, any construction plan on the perimeter of the site must be approved by UNESCO experts beforehand,” he added.
 
Covering an area of 23,000 square meters, the Isfahan Congregational Mosque is the largest of its kind in Iran and features many unique Iranian artistic and architectural elements. 
 
According to some historical texts, the structure was originally a Zoroastrian temple that was then converted into a mosque in the early eighth century CE by the Tayyem tribe, which was a migrant Arabian tribe living in the nearby village of Tiran.
 
Since the mosque has been augmented several times during various eras, the monument beautifully displays the evolution of Islamic art and architecture.
    
MMS/YAW
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