United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Melina Mercouri Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes goes to the Iranian village of Maymand

The historical village of Maymand in southern Iran will be awarded the Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO Greece) in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on September 7.

The Prize will be presented by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, to Ambassador Ahmad Jalali, Permanent Delegate to UNESCO of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in a ceremony (6.30 p.m., Room XI), in the presence of Petros Tatoulis, the Vice Minister of Culture of Greece; and the Permanent Delegate to UNESCO of Greece George Anastassopoulosi. The ceremony will be followed by a reception (7th floor Restaurant).

The prize is awarded to the historical village of Maymand in recognition of its exceptional qualities as cultural landscape, a human settlement that has preserved a semi-nomadic agro-pastoral way of life over several millennia. The prize is meant to help support the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization in its work to preserve the village and the lifestyle of its 140 inhabitants, on which the cultural landscape of Maymand hinges.

Living conditions in Maymand are harsh due to the aridity of the land and to high temperatures in summers and very cold winters. Situated at an altitude of more than 2,200 metres close to the city of Babak-Shahr, it features an agricultural landscape, dwellings and barns dug out in the mountainside. Some of them have been inhabited for as long as 3,000 years. The village surrounded by ravines dotted with tiny oases where hazel trees, vineyards, jujubes, almonds and other trees are grown, and by tilled fields.

The US$20,000 prize, named after Greece’s late cinema actress and Culture Minister Melina Mercouri, has been awarded every two years since 1999 to reward outstanding examples of action to safeguard and enhance the world’s major cultural landscapes.

Journalists wishing to attend the ceremony should contact the Press Relations Section for accreditation: Isabelle Le Fournis +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 - i.le-fournis@unesco.org

Source Media Advisory N°2005-53
Website 1 (URL) Internet Site
Generic Field
Publication Date 05 Sep 2005
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