32 historical sites temporarily ceded to private investors

May 11, 2019

TEHRAN – A total of 32 Iranian historical places and monuments have been temporarily ceded to the private sector as of October-November 2017, Mehr reported.

Since then, 32 historical monuments have been privatized in the country, fetching 390 billion rials, said Parham Janfeshan who presides over Iran’s Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places.

Of the mentioned number, 16 have so far been restored and are operational, providing services for domestic and international travelers, the official said.

The monuments used to be mansions, badgirs (wind-towers), caravanserais and public bathhouses, he added.

The Fund is in charge of concession with the aim of historical sites receiving better maintenance by repurposing them into thriving eco-lodges, traditional restaurants or other profitable niches.

Ali Kazemi, a senior official with the Fund had earlier said that through restoring historic sites the [traditional] culture of the country will be preserved. Moreover, a tourism-based economy will grow, leading to creation of jobs and improvement of living standards.

“This sort of investment seems attractive for the private sector, because accommodation in [well-preserved] monuments is attractive for both domestic and foreign tourists, in addition these steps are carried out without the need for [excessive] administrative bureaucracy.”

Upon an initiative scheme, the Fund (known by its Persian acronym Saabta) provides opportunity for privately-owned businesses to run certain old structures in order to be maintained and repurposed into hotels, traditional restaurants or lodging places.

Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites.


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