Iranian museums remain shut due to virus 

September 8, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN- Countrywide museums and historical sites affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts will remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, ISNA reported on Wednesday.

Although most businesses have reopened following the end of coronavirus restrictions in most cities, museums, historical sites, and landmarks remain closed to visitors by an order from the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control and the ministry of tourism, the report added. 

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, almost all cultural heritage museums have remained shut as of April 7; some of them have reopened for a time due to the disease’s decline and favorable conditions, but then they have been closed again.

Museums at forefront of closures

Last November Mohammadreza Kargar, the director of museums and historical properties at the tourism ministry announced that Iranian museums have taken 1.7 trillion rials (some $42 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) hit from the coronavirus outbreak over the previous months.

If the country was in normal condition, the museums would host over 25 million visitors, but now they have faced a huge loss as there is almost no visitor to the museums, he noted.

In October former Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan warned that Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism will be in a critical situation if the crises are caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus continue. With the outbreak of the coronavirus, museums were at the forefront of closures and for several months now, they have not had any revenue from the sale of tickets, Mounesan explained.

Currently, 740 museums are active across Iran, in which some three million historical objects are being kept. The county is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, embracing settlements dating back to 4000 BC. It also hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites.


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