Amordad News

National registration of historical houses in Hamedan after destruction

Translated by Shabboo Goli

Two houses and a historical school in Hamedan were registered in the list of monuments of cultural and historical value after some parts of them were destroyed by bulldozers.

According to ISNA, about a month ago, parts of Khanjani’s house in Hamadan were destroyed. Two months ago, parts of Dr. Shiri’s house in Hamedan were damaged. Before that, the destruction of the historical school “Zafar” in Hamedan had caused a stir, remnants of the historical period of Qajar and Pahlavi, with which some of their histories were destroyed. The registration file for these mansions and the houses and other artifacts that are gradually being deliberately demolished have been prepared in the last one or two years. Still, the registration process has taken so long that another version has to be prepared for registration.

Acting Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, who is depute for cultural heritage of this Ministry, has recently informed the governor of Hamedan about the registration of 16 historical monuments, including the names of Khanjani and Shiri houses as well as Zafar School. Ali Darabi’s letter to Alireza Ghasemi Farzad, governor of Hamedan province, published on 8th Azar, states: “According to article (j) of the law for establishment of national organization for cultural heritage, parliament’s bill No. 1364, and clause 6, article 3 of the articles of association of the National Organization for cultural heritage, parliament’s bill No. 1367, and article 15 of the law for protection, repair and restoration of historical/cultural textures, parliament’s bill No. 1398 regarding the registration of valuable movable and immovable cultural/historical structures in the list of national monuments and other related lists, the process for registration of the cultural/historical “Zafar School”, located in the central part of Hamedan city, of Hamedan province, Ave. Bu Ali, Zolriasteyn neighborhood, which has been already registered under No. 367, has been registered in the list of valuable historical/cultural monuments, is hereby notified.  This structure is under the protection and supervision of this Ministry and any encroachment, construction, restoration or reconstruction of this building will be possible only with the approval and supervision of this Ministry.

Zafar historical school, built in the early Pahlavi period, was destroyed in a night operation on the 9th of Mehr, 1400. Hossein Zandi, a cultural heritage activist in Hamedan, said: ‌This school has been destroyed either by the municipality or with the coordination of the city because any demolition requires a municipal permit, and in fact, it is the municipality that must have a loader, excavation and demolition acts in all parts of the city. However, the city blamed Malik for demolishing the school without permission. The demolition operation at the school took place while the registration file had just been prepared.

Darabi added: “in addition to Zafar school, 15 other works were registered, including the building of the watchtower of Hamedan old airport, Khodakarami and partners house, Kaboudar Ahang bazaar, the wish of the heirs of Mohammad Ali Alaieyar, Ghazanfari house, Ahadi house, Tochghazmayer mosque, Sharafkhani house, Ali Asghar Shokri house, Golestan Maryanj House, Madraki and Nobari House, Shirsarkani and Partners House, Izadi and Partners House, Khanjani House and Shiri House has been notified to the Governor of Hamedan.”

These works have been registered from 1398 to 1400. According to the letters issued by the Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, the house of Khanjani, parts of which were destroyed on 4th Aban 1400, was registered 6 days after destruction.  The dairy house, which was destroyed by bulldozers on October 2, 2021, was recorded on October 22, about 20 days after being destroyed.

After demolishing parts of Khanjani’s house, Hossein Zandi said: The owner of Khanjani building has applied for a construction permit and has obtained the required access from the municipality.

He suggested that the destruction was a reaction of the owners to the registration of the building, adding that the letters sent by the cultural heritage to the owners to register the houses had encouraged most of the owners to demolish their houses. They are demolishing these old buildings with loaders to protest the registration of their houses.

Zandi also said: “This is happening now and in the newly destroyed buildings, it goes this way:  The registration of historical buildings is done by the cultural/heritage organization and a letter is issued and sent to the owner informing that his building is being registered, but the main issue is that The Ministry Registry does not take the primary step in reviewing these registration files.

Demolition of the houses in the historical context of Hamedan, which is being done in a serial manner in the last one or two years, has been accelerated in the recent months, and in the most recent such case two houses, belonging to Khanjani and Khoshbakht, were destroyed 24 hours apart.

According to Article 558 of the Islamic penal code, “Anyone, who destroys fully or partly, any structure, building, site, cultural, historical or religious works registered in the national register of national monuments of Iran, or decoration of parts of structures and objects, or drawings and inscription in them which are by themselves of cultural/historical identity, will not only have to pay for the damages, will also be sentenced to serve upto 10 years in prison.”

Article 564 of this law also stipulates that:  “Anyone who attempts to repair, renovate, reconstruct or redevelop or decorate any cultural/historical site registered in the list of national heritage, without the permission of the cultural heritage organization, and against the rules stipulated by the said organization, will be sentenced to 6 months upto 2 years prison and  fine.


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