Sunday, August 12, 2007

Japan to donate 112 million yen to rebuild Iran's Arg-e Bam

Japan to donate 112 million yen to rebuild Iran's Arg-e Bam
Tehran, Jan 23, IRNA -- Japan is to extend a cultural grant of 112 million Japanese yen (9.4 billion rials) to Iran for the reconstruction of the ancient citadel of Arg-e Bam, southeastern Iran, which was ruined by a killer quake in December 2003, it was reported on Sunday.

The exchange of notes for reconstruction of the citadel, which was signed by Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for education and research affairs Alireza Moaiyeri and Japan's Ambassador to Tehran Hideaki Domichi, is the project with the purpose of improving of equipment for restoration and preservation of Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel).

The government of Japan is allocating 112 million Japanese yen (9.4 billion rls). Besides it has already drawn some plans for reconstruction of Arg-e Bam, Moaiyeri told IRNA.

With this assistance, Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization will procure equipment needed for restoration and preservation of Bam Citadel.

The grant is the continuation of donations and contributions made by the government, NGOs and people of Japan after Bam earthquake on December 26, 2003 which killed tens of thousands and razed the city of Bam, in Kerman province, to the ground.

Arg-e Bam is the largest adobe structure in the world and one of the most beautiful historical sites in Iran, said the Japanese diplomat after signing the note.

Hideaki noted, "Unfortunately, more than 80 percent of Arg-e Bam collapsed by the earthquake. Restoration and preservation of Arg-e Bam is our generation's duty for our prosperity."

Besides this project, Japan had already funded 4.4 billion rials through UNESCO for Arg-e Bam restoration, he added, saying that most recently, Japan Agricultural Cooperatives has donated dlrs 360,000 to its counterpart in Bam.

He stressed, "The recent tsunami catastrophe reminded us of the importance of taking all precautions for disaster prevention and reduction of damages."

Tsunami triggered by a violent earthquake in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 crashed into India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, leaving more than 166,000 dead in Indonesia alone.

"I wish Arg-e Bam would be eventually restored to its previous magnificence as one of the most attractive tourist spots in Iran," he said.

With the grant of 112 million Japanese yen, Iran will procure equipment necessary for restoration of Bam Citadel including 10 sets of scaffolding, 15 sets of step for use on slopes, three hydraulic shovels, two forklifts, three wheeled loaders, five belt conveyors and their spare parts.

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