Iran submits two documents for registration on UNESCO list

October 8, 2008

TEHRAN -- Iran submitted two documents to UNESCO office in Paris to be registered on the UNESCO List of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity last month.

The Noruz celebration (Iranian New Year) and the titles and items of Iranian Radifs are the two documents that are already listed on Iran’s National Heritage List, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Deputy head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO) for cultural heritage affairs Fariborz Dolatabadi said that the Noruz document was completed based on world heritage regulations and was submitted to the UNESCO office in Paris.
Dolatabadi added, “Noruz was registered on Iran’s National Heritage List on March 17 (a few days before the beginning of Noruz on March 21) and was completed last month during a session attended by representatives from the regional countries that celebrate this holiday including Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan.
“The document was also previously prepared by CHTHO and Iran’s National Commission for UNESCO several years ago and a meeting was also held at the commission’s venue in 2004, but it was later withdrawn for further studies,” he continued.
Dolatabadi also explained the submitted Noruz document contains 10 photos of varying celebrations of Noruz in Iran and neighboring countries, a 10-mintue film, three books (two from Iran and one from Turkey), a 60-minute film about Noruz, and also several other photos.
In addition, the document of the titles and items of Iranian Radifs was also prepared by CHTHO and Iran’s Music House, CHTHO official Hosseinali Vakil Aliabadi said.
“The document includes a 10-minute film of the history, and definition of Radif, 10 pictures of how to teach Radif and the performance of several musical instruments along with several photos, a CD containing a performance of Radif, and three books on Radif.”
“Also included are the history of Iranian music and its various transformations over the years, changes in Iranian musical instruments, the development of Radifs, and the system of oral instruction of Iranian Radifs,” he explained.
In the music of Iran, a set of notes, their special characteristics, and an associated group of traditional melodies that constitute a basis for an improvised performance is called dastgah. The total collection of more than 200 gushehs (traditional melodic motifs) in all 12 dastgahs is known as the Radif.
He further noted that this system of music flourished during the Qajar era with the famous musician Aqa Ali Akbar Farahani and his sons Mirza Abdollah and Aqa Hosseinqoli.
The UNESCO office will announce its opinion later on whether or not the documents will be registered on the List of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.