UNESCO-tagged monastery’s main dome restored

November 26, 2019 - 22:9

TEHRAN – Main dome of the Monastery of Saint Thaddeus, a UNESCO-registered property in northwest Iran, has recently been restored successfully, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

The cone-shaped dome was brought back to its former glory as part of a project which started this summer in accordance with the UNESCO standards and under the supervision of cultural heritage experts.

“Prior to commencement of the restoration work an outline [proposal] for both the restoration and its masonry material were submitted to UNESCO experts for approval,” a provincial tourism official said.

“We take no action arbitrarily and without taking the advice of experts,” Sherli Avadian, the director of Iran’s Armenian monastic ensembles, said in September.

“The [replacement] stones that have been used are similar in quality and color to the original. Some 80 percent of the monastery’s stones are white,” Avadian explained.

In the [Iranian calendar] year 1395 (March 2016-17) and following some meetings with UNESCO representatives and their consecutive inspections, a comprehensive plan, consisting of five phases, was finally ratified for restoring the Monastery of Saint Thaddeus.

Also known as the Qareh Klise (“the Black Church”), the monastery is one of the oldest surviving Christian monuments in the country. It is situated in West Azarbaijan province, some 20 kilometers form Maku, adjacent to the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Together with St. Stepanos Monastery and the Chapel of Dzordzor, Qareh Klise was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008 under the name “Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran”.

All the three sites are located in West Azarbaijan and are of high significance from historical and cultural perspectives. They bear credible testimony to interchanges with the ancient regional societies in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. UNESCO says that they bear examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions.


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