800 historical monuments, sites to be ceded to private sector

May 13, 2020 - 22:59

TEHRAN – Some 800 historical monuments and sites across the country have been identified to be temporarily ceded to the private sector with the aim of higher productivity and better maintenance.

“About 800 monuments have been handed over to the fund [the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places], and will be ceded to the private sector for restoration and maintenance,” IRIB quoted Hadi Mirzaei, the director of the Fund, as saying on Wednesday.

Over the past couple of years, tens of historical places and monuments have been similarly ceded to the private sector. Upon an initiative scheme, the Fund (known by its Persian acronym Saabta) provides the opportunity for privately-owned businesses to run certain old structures to be maintained and repurposed into hotels, traditional restaurants or lodging places.

According to cultural heritage officials, this sort of investment seems to be attractive for private investors, because accommodation in [well-preserved] monuments is attractive for both domestic and foreign tourists.

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts announced last December that of the numerous historical buildings and structures that are scattered across Iran, some 2,500 ones need restoration.

Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural and rural landscapes, more than 20 of which registered on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list.

AFM/MG

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