UNESCO for private sector’s key role restoring Iran’s rich heritage

IRNA – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Asia-Pacific Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation stressed the significant role played by the private sector in conserving and restoring Iran’s rich heritage.

“The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation were set up to encourage and recognize the crucial role that the private sector plays in the long-term safeguarding of our region’s cultural heritage,” UNESCO Tehran cluster office said in a press release obtained by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Tuesday.

The full text of the report follows:

Since 2000, UNESCO has received 720 entries from 25 countries, spanning a wide range of conservation projects from family homes to palace complexes. A total of 209 projects have received UNESCO Heritage awards for conservation. In addition, 14 projects have been honored with the Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts, which recognizes contemporary architectural design in a heritage context.

There have been seven Iranian prize winners to date: “Polsheer House” Djolfa, Isfahan (2002 Award of Merit); “Zargar-e-Yadzi House”, Yazd (2004 Honourable Mention); “Zain-ad-din Karavansara”, Yazd (2005 Honourable Mention); “Saryazd Citadel” Yazd (2014 Award of Distinction); Darugheh House (2016 Honourable Mention), “Aftab Cultural House”, Isfahan (2017 Honourable Mention), Persian Gulf University – Faculty of Art & Architecture, Bulshehr (2017 New Design in Heritage Contexts).

The winning projects have set high technical and social standards for conservation in the region. They have increased local preservation efforts, inspiring local communities to take action to save their historic buildings.

The awards advocate the culture of conservation through use of appropriate conservation techniques and approaches.

For both Conservation category and New Design in Heritage Contexts category, projects that are completed within the last 10 years are eligible to apply. Houses, commercial and institutional buildings, historic towns and villages, archaeological heritage sites and cultural landscapes, for example, are all suitable for entry. The awards aim to encourage local people to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or by seeking public-private partnerships.

The awards reward the social and policy impact of the project by looking at the manner in which the process has contributed to the surrounding environment and the local community.

This year, the winners will be announced in early November 2018, with a selected number of entries receiving the “Award of Excellence”, “Award of Distinction”, “Award of Merit”, “Honourable Mention” and “Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts”.

The Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts is given to newly-built structures that demonstrate outstanding design well-integrated into historic contexts. The Award encourages submissions of completed new architecture and design that enrich the existing heritage setting. Building annexes, as well as new extensions, new buildings, new public spaces and new structures, such as bridges, are all eligible for consideration.

The Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts looks at the compatibility of the new structure in its context and rewards outstanding design concepts that articulate an innovative response to the historic context.

The call for entries for the 2018 cycle is now open until 15 May 2018. Entries for the 2018 Awards programme must be submitted to UNESCO Bangkok using an official entry form, a description of the project in the official format, drawings and photographs in hard and softcopy formats.

The UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office encourages the Iranian private sector to submit their projects before the deadline of 15 May 2018 to give international visibility to their achievements in heritage conservation.

For more information and to apply for the Awards, please visit: http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/apply-awards.