Iran's Historical Sites Face Disrepair Amid Economic Crisis and Insufficient Preservation Budget

Iran's historical sites face severe disrepair due to insufficient preservation budget, putting UNESCO-ranked heritage at risk of irreparable damage from natural disasters and lack of resources.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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Iran's Historical Sites Face Disrepair Amid Economic Crisis and Insufficient Preservation Budget

Iran's Historical Sites Face Disrepair Amid Economic Crisis and Insufficient Preservation Budget

Iran's historical sites are facing severe disrepair due to an insufficient preservation budget, according to Culture Minister Ali Darabi. The budget for preserving Iran's ancient heritage amounts to only £161 per site and £3,000 per building, which Darabi says is "beyond" him. Iran is home to many UNESCO-ranked heritage sites, but the country is facing a profound economic crisis and has been accused of spending on missiles and proxy terror groups instead of preservation.

In the past, Iran has even put some of its most ancient historical treasures up for sale online to battle state debt and crippling sanctions over its nuclear program. Bringing in foreign archaeologists to collaborate on major projects is also a challenge for Tehran due to its policy of hostage diplomacy.

Recent floods in central Iran have caused significant damage to 240 historic houses and the Amir Chakhmaq complex, a prominent structure in the city of Yazd, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experts caution about the risk of sinkholes and other structural issues, especially if religious gatherings are held during the Islamic month of Muharram. The Amir Chakhmaq complex, built in the 15th century, is facing increased concerns about erosion even before the recent flooding.

Why this matters: Iran's historical sites are not only a source of national pride but also a significant draw for tourism, which could help alleviate the country's economic woes. The deterioration of these cultural heritage sites due to insufficient funding and maintenance could lead to irreparable damage and loss of important historical artifacts.

Iran has seen repeated droughts and floods in the past decade, which experts say are exacerbated by climate change, threatening the country's historic monuments. The government's preservation budget of only £161 per site and £3,000 per building highlights the lack of resources to properly maintain and restore these important cultural heritage sites. Without adequate funding and international collaboration, Iran risks losing its rich historical legacy to the ravages of time and natural disasters.

Key Takeaways

  • Iran's historical sites face severe disrepair due to insufficient preservation budget.
  • Iran's budget for preserving ancient heritage is only £161 per site and £3,000 per building.
  • Recent floods in central Iran have caused significant damage to historic houses and UNESCO sites.
  • Iran's historical sites are a major draw for tourism, but lack of funding threatens their preservation.
  • Climate change-induced disasters and lack of international collaboration further endanger Iran's cultural heritage.