Iran boosts budget for historical monuments maintenance

May 4, 2022 - 23:36

TEHRAN – Iran has increased the national budget for the restoration and maintenance of its historical monuments by 78 percent, the tourism minister said on Monday.

“Through a close collaboration between the government and Majlis(parliament), the budget for the preservation and restoration of 35,000 historical monuments in the country has increased by 78%,” Ezattolah Zarghami said.

The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts made the remarks during a short visit to the UNESCO-designated Persepolis, Mehr reported.

“Persepolis is one of the important priorities of this year's budget allocation for maintenance, restoration, the amount of which will be announced within the next month,” Zarghami explained.

“The World Heritage site of Persepolis has a huge [tourism] capacity for the country,” he noted.

Once the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Persepolis has undergone numerous restoration projects, including ones to cope with spreading lichens found on bas-reliefs and massive rock-carved monuments.

According to available data provided by the ministry of tourism, some 2,500 historical buildings in the country require restoration.  

As a solution, over the past couple of years, tens of historical places and monuments have been temporarily ceded to the private sector under the supervision of the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places.

The historical monuments are aimed to receive further care by being repurposed into profitable sites such as boutique hotels, eco-lodges, traditional restaurants, or other profitable niches.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM

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