The High Council of Architecture and Urbanization has declared that compliance with laws aimed at preserving historical texture nationwide, especially Shiraz, is mandatory.
Distressing news related to the historical texture of Shiraz in Fars Province had increased in frequency.
From the destruction of ancient houses to the demolition of historical gardens, vested interests had sought to bend the rules to line their pockets at the expense of historical structures that give Shiraz its unique look.
Better Late Than Never
The council’s decision to intervene and save what is left of the city’s old texture comes well over a year after demolitions of historical structures started.
A statement from the council published online by Mehr News Agency reads: “The decision was made in line with preserving historical textures, restoring structures in disrepair and upholding socioeconomic values.”
According to the council’s resolution, construction projects in or around Shiraz’s historical texture must comply with all regulations before permits can be issued. Previously approved projects can continue, as long as they comply with the new regulations.
A detailed plan, approved by the council and published online on the government news website dolat.ir, bans construction of buildings above four floors and taller than 14.5 meters around the city’s historical texture.
The plan also gives Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization one year to identify Shiraz’s historical buildings and set boundaries for them. The organization must also prepare a plan outlining measures to restore structures in need of repair.
Plans to develop Shah Cheragh Mausoleum must be prepared within six months and need to be approved by the council before implementation.
The mausoleum includes a 13th-century mosque and a shrine to two Islamic religious figures: Ahmed ibn Musa and Muhammad ibn Musa, brothers of Imam Reza (PBUH), whose shrine is in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province.
Last summer, the development of Shah Cheragh Mausoleum caused significant damage to the historical textures of the city, most of which are nationally-recognized heritage sites, including six historical houses such as the Asgharzadeh House and the House of Pour-Navvab.
Following the demolition of a number of historical houses in June, Mohammad Hassan Talebiyan, deputy for cultural heritage at ICHHTO, said the destruction was a complete breach of the law and admitted that the organization had no idea who was responsible for the destruction of the buildings.
Earlier, cultural heritage officials condemned the seemingly never-ending destruction of Shiraz’s historical texture and tried to stop the trend to no avail. The council’s firm stance, however, could be a step toward preserving the city’s historical heritage.