The historical Bazaar of Tabriz, the capital city of the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, is one of the largest covered markets of the world and the first of its kind which has been registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, said head of the city’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Ramin Asbaqi said a project to restore the ceiling, walls and domes of the bazaar has been launched.
He noted that the old bazaar, extending in an area of one square kilometer, was globally registered in 2010.
Referring to the strategic geographical location of Tabriz, located on the Silk Road, he said considering that commercial caravans from different parts of the world were constantly passing through Tabriz, this bazaar, which was a very prosperous and important market, has expanded over time.
He added that the bazaar is known as one of the important and most visited tourism centers of the city, drawing many Iranian and foreign travelers every day.
Asbaqi noted that registration on a cultural, historical or natural site on UNESCO’s List not only helps preserve it, but has a direct positive impact on the regions’ economic and cultural sectors. This important development would help strengthen the subcultures of the region, increase domestic and international social and economic partnerships, and ensure preserving the site’s historical and cultural identity.
“The sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List belong to all people on earth, regardless of race, religion and nationality, thus governments are duty-bound to preserve and maintain them,” he said.
The official said that global registration of a work can also help attract scientific and social participation, draw financial and educational aids and increase the number of tourists arriving in the region.
“The issue that makes many people, even politicians, interested in global registration of their country’s historical and cultural heritage is that this can help prove that their homeland has played a role in the establishment of human history,” he noted.
“However, in my opinion, development of the tourism industry and generation of income are the most significant results of global registration. This important occurrence usually motivates local officials to create the required infrastructures, including access roads and accommodation centers, to encourage more tourists to travel to the region.”
He said, nowadays, it is very important for international tourists to visit a globally registered site.
He said a number of training courses would usually be offered to local people to raise their knowledge about the importance of protecting such sites.
He said 42 tangible and 45 intangible heritages of Iran have been registered on UNESCO’s List, driving the country to stand ninth among all countries of the world in this regard.