Iran is one of the most important world historic centers enjoying rich heritage of historical places. The protection and management of these places have become serious challenges due to the number of these places, which has been estimated over one million sites. On the other hand, it is inevitable to revise our approach towards the historic assets considering Iran’s current momentum along with needs of the world. Policies of cultural stakeholders should be altered towards participatory and decentralized approaches rather than non-participatory, centralized and governmental approaches.
Policies noted in the 20-year- Vision Plan ratified by the Islamic Republic of Iran and above all, the Article 44 of the Constitution, as the guideline for managing programs has emphasized on this change properly. Public sector involvement in decision-making and implementation in the field of cultural heritage is inevitable and its vulnerability and sensitivity must be considered well.
Indeed, least mistake in renovation and revival of historical monuments is an irreversible loss; therefore private sector requires proceeding and implementing in a predefined framework under the constant supervision and assistance of the public sector.
According to the article of the Fourth Development Plan, the Fund for Revival and utilization of the Cultural and Historical Buildings and Places was established.
Article 114 states:
"In a national drive to identify, preserve, research, repair, revive, utilize and introduce the country's cultural heritage and to enhance the tourism capability, to generate wealth and employment, and to promote cultural exchange in the country, government is charged with taking the following measures during the fourth plan period:
To prepare and implement plans concerning "protection of the owners"
To set up and develop specialized research museums affiliated with the executive agencies
To identify and document the historical, cultural relics
To set up and equip the cultural heritage bases in the country
To identify and protect the existing Iranian cultural and historical relics and monuments in the neighboring countries and regions, giving recognition to them as the shared cultural heritage
Attracting participation of the private and cooperative sectors
The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization is granted authorization to set up the fund for reviving and utilizing the cultural and historical buildings and places in order to grant permit for the proper use and exploitation of revivable historical buildings and places aiming at attraction of investment by domestic and foreign private sectors.
The revivable historical buildings and sites except the exquisite national relics (properties and assets) as defined by the said organization are exempted from the provision of Article (115) of the "Law of the Country's Public Accounting, enacted on 22/08/1987".
According to this article of the Fourth Development Plan, the cabinet approved the statute of the fund for renovation in 2005/9/15 (84/6/24) and handed it to the Cultural Heritage Organization for implementation and establishment of "the Fund for Revival and utilization of the Cultural and Historical Buildings and Places".
The Statute identifies the fund's responsibilities and authorities as follow:
Encouraging, guiding, and supporting legal activities of investors
Identification of proper land-use and granting utilization permission for historical and cultural monuments in compliance with the relevant rules and regulations
Supporting real and legal entities related to revival of historical places to develop technical capacities in this field.
Granting supporting facilities to beneficiaries
Accomplishing other affairs related to the development and enhancement of Reviving and Utilizing the Cultural and Historical Buildings and Places in compliance with rules and regulations