Earthquake in Bam (Iran) – contribution of ICOMOS Foto

Dear Colleagues,
The terrible earthquake that devastated the historic city of Bam in Iran on 26 December 2003 left no-one insensitive to the human tragedy and the loss of cultural heritage. ICOMOS members and officers reacted very quickly and, following consultation with the ICOMOS President and Bureau, a mission was sent on site from 5 to 9 January 2004, closely co-ordinated with our Iranian colleagues so as to avoid any unnecessary inconvenience to them and achieve the best possible results. Foto

In Tehran meetings took place with the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organisation (ICHO – see web site and colleagues of ICOMOS Iran, where the condoleances on behalf of the ICOMOS membership were conveyed. In Bam, a joint mission with Iranian professionals of the ICHO gave a brief opportunity to observe the total devastation of the living neighbourhoods of Bam, including some thirty historic monuments eg. the Bazar, and the damage suffered by the listed archaeological area of the citadel (Arg-e-Bam). The Iranian heritage organisations have reacted very promptly and efficiently, and are currently carrying out documentation work, damage assessment and securing the site. In planning for its recovery our Iranian colleagues have expressed their interest in benefiting from the experience of the ICOMOS network on certain specific questions relating to earthen architecture sites and earthquakes.

As I return from Iran, and in preparation of the Executive Committee meeting which is taking place in Paris from 16 to 20 January 2004, I am writing to all the ICOMOS Committees to share two specific points with you and to ask you to provide us with concise information on case studies, reflections, successful examples of :

– Preventive intervention for earthquakes for earthen architecture monuments and sites
– Post-earthquake disaster measures for such sites (stabilization, emergency salvage etc.)

and to identify any experts in this field from within your Committee or among your professional network who could help us in our future steps in this regard.

I would be grateful if you could send this information and the details of experts to the ICOMOS International Secretariat ( if possible before 16th January 2004 , so that we have it in time for the Executive Committee meeting.

I thank you in advance for your valuable co-operation.

Yours sincerely
Dinu Bumbaru
Secretary General

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