1.         Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 115)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(v)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-1986)
Total amount approved: USD 6,666
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

September 1995: ICCROM mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The UNESCO Physical Heritage Division undertook a mission to Iran in December 1994 which included a preliminary survey on the state of conservation of the World Heritage cultural property of Meidan Emam in Isfahan. Observations focused on the following: (i) concern over the heavy traffic in the old town, particularly on the Meidan Emam place, which along with the surrounding monuments are in the protected zone. The proposed construction of an underground passage to alleviate the traffic congestion had been shelved due to the high water table preventing its construction and the city magistrate, instead, transformed the main part of the Meidan Emam into a pedestrian zone. The UNESCO mission reported that a project to create a new traffic axe, immediately south of the Meidan Emam, by widening an existing street is currently under study. As the creation of this axe entails cutting the old town and destroying a large number of traditional houses and ancient mud-brick city ramparts, UNESCO has requested the authorities to reconsider the feasibility of this project in view of the conservation concerns.

The UNESCO mission also recommended the involvement of the Cultural Heritage Organization of the Government of Iran in another on-going feasibility study on the construction of a Isfahan Regional Metro, to ensure that cultural heritage conservation concerns, particularly regarding disturbances to archaeological features, are properly reflected.

Action Required

The Bureau, having noted the concerns raised over the impact of the various transportation infrastructure proposals, requests the Iranian authorities to consider the establishment of meaningful buffer zones to protect the World Heritage site and to inform the Committee through the systematic monitoring report to be prepared by the Government.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The Bureau requested the Iranian authorities to consider the establishment of meaningful buffer zones to protect the World Heritage site and expressed its concern over the impact of the various proposed transportation infrastructure and to inform the Committee through the systematic monitoring report to be prepared by the Government.

In following up this request, the Iranian Cultural Organization invited the participation of international experts in an assessment of the state of conservation of all three World Heritage cultural properties in Iran. The Centre, with the approval of the Iranian authorities, requested ICCROM to take part in this exercise. A mission was carried out in September 1995 and the draft report on the state of conservation of the Meidan Eman of Isfahan, Tchogha Zanbil and Persepolis is currently under preparation.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The Bureau may wish to recommend the Committee to express its appreciation to the Iranian authorities for using the systematic monitoring exercise as an opportunity for furthering international cooperation in the protection and preservation of World Heritage.

Decision Adopted: 19 BUR VI.22

The Centre reported that the UNESCO Physical Heritage Division undertook a mission to Iran in December 1994 which included a preliminary survey on the state of conservation of the World Heritage cultural property of Meidan Emam in Isfahan. Observations focused on the following:

(i) concern over the heavy traffic in the old town, particularly on the Meidan Emam place, which along with the surrounding monuments are in the protected zone. The proposed construction of an underground passage to alleviate the traffic congestion had been shelved due to the high water table preventing its construction and the city magistrate, instead, transformed the main part of the Meidan Emam into a pedestrian zone. The UNESCO mission reported that a project to create a new traffic axe, immediately south of the Meidan Emam, by widening an existing street is currently under study. As the creation of this axe entails cutting the old town and destroying a large number of traditional houses and ancient mud-brick city ramparts, UNESCO has requested the authorities to reconsider the feasibility of this project in view of the conservation concerns.

The UNESCO mission also recommended the involvement of the Cultural Heritage Organization of the Government of Iran in another on-going feasibility study on the construction of a Isfahan Regional Metro, to ensure that cultural heritage conservation concerns, particularly regarding disturbances to archaeological features, are properly reflected.

The Bureau, having noted the concerns raised over the impact of the various transportation infrastructure proposals, suggested that the Iranian authorities consider the establishment of meaningful buffer zones to protect the World Heritage site and to report to the Committee at its nineteenth session.

Decision Adopted: 19 COM VII.C.2.39/40

VII.39 Heidan Emam of Isfahan (Iran)

The Secretariat informed the Committee that it received the draft report of a mission carried out in September 1995 to assess the state of conservation of the Meidan Eman of Isfahan by the Iranian Cultural Organization in association with ICCROM following the concern raised by the Bureau in July 1995 on the impact of the new road projects on this site. The Committee took note of this and decided to study the reports at the next Bureau meeting before formulating its recommendations.