Italy inks agreement to restore Bam Citadel

September 8, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Italy and Iran have recently signed an agreement for buttressing, preservation, and restoration of the Bam Citadel in southern Iran’s Kerman Province.

Based on the agreement Italian experts will buttress and preserve the Tower One of the citadel as well as restore the caravanserai of the ancient site, the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday.
An Italian team led by Giuseppe Proietti will begin working on the Tower One of the citadel in late September, said Eskandar Mokhtari, the director of the rescue team working on the citadel.
According to Mokhtari, the project for restoration of the caravanserai will take one year to complete and will require about 500,000 dollars.
Covering an area of 180,000 square meters, the Bam Citadel is located 200 kilometers south of the city of Kerman. The citadel was the world’s largest adobe building before it was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake on December 26, 2003.
In May 2005, Rome held an international conference on the preservation and restoration of Bam’s cultural heritage.
Over 70 projects for the preservation of historical sites of Bam city and the Bam Citadel were discussed during the two-day event attended by experts from UNESCO, ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).
It is not clear exactly when the Bam Citadel was built, but it is widely believed that it was originally constructed during the Sassanid era (224-651 CE). While some surviving structures date to the 12th century and before, most of what remains was built during the Safavid era (1502-1722).
The city of Bam and its cultural landscape were registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004. Due to the severe damages caused by the earthquake to the Bam Citadel, it is currently on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.
Photo: Bam Citadel before and after the 2003 earthquake in photos by Ruzbeh Shivaii