[Numerous reports in the Iranian media in November 2014 announced that Iran was planning to offer the castle of Alamut to UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The historical significance of the fortress dates back to 1090 A.C. when the Ismaili dai Hassan Sabbah chose the Alamut region as the headquarters of Ismailis following the Nizari-Musteali split in Fatimid Egypt. But four years after the announcement, Iran Daily reports that numerous factors have prevented the registration of Alamut as a World Heritage Site site.]
By CULTURAL HERITAGE DESK, IRAN DAILY
Alamut located in the northwestern province of Qazvin as an untapped and historical region deserves to be registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List but various factors have prevented the goal from being reached.
Director General of Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department Mohammad Ali Hazrati said that a limited number of foreigners travel to Qazvin Province because it doesn’t have any registered site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
He added efforts are underway to send the dossier of Alamut natural and historical site to UNESCO for world registration.
Hazrati said Alamut with beautiful natural landscape has several ancient structures including Hassan Sabbah Castle and Pich Bon Caravanserai.
A number of regulations should be observed for registration of any site on UNESCO’s List.
“Illegal construction of buildings within the boundary of the historical structures, including Hassan Sabbah Castle, is among the problems faced by Alamut in this respect”, he said.
He added that a decree was issued for destruction of structures located in Alamut historical texture, but the resistance of local officials as well as some social considerations prevented it from being enforced.
Hazrati said the registration of Alamut on UNESCO’s World Heritage List would help the ancient site to be recognized more internationally, draw a large number of the visitors to the province and boost tourism and employment in the region.
The Former head of Iranian Center for Archeological Research, Hamideh Choobak, said all ancient sites located worldwide are of high value but international recognition would help increase the governments’ responsibility to protect and maintain them.
“Specific funds will also be made available to the sites by the government and international organizations”, she added.
Choobak, who is the head of Alamut Cultural Heritage Site, noted that Alamut deserves to be registered on UNESCO’s List but it is not enough.
She stressed that a number of conditions should be provided to help realize the target.
The official said Hassan Sabbah Castle has been registered on the National Heritage List in the year to March 2002, adding some organizations failed to perform their responsibility toward the structure.
She reiterated that related organizations should raise the local people’s awareness about the benefits of the site’s registration on UNESCO’s List and encourage them to cooperate with officials in this respect.
Date posted: February 4, 2019.
This piece, excluding the photos, was originally published in IRAN DAILY, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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