Campaign to save Tehran “architectural masterpiece” attracts worldwide support

More than 4,700 people have signed a petition drawn up to save Namazee Villa situated in the Iranian capital of Tehran designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti, which is to be demolished and replaced by a five-star hotel.

The building has been taken out of the list of registered national monuments and so is no longer automatically preserved.

Matteo Licitra, the grandson of Ponti, asked for help to conserve it

“I intend to travel to Tehran to meet the current owner of villa, at least to buy some interior decorations designed by Gio Ponti, my grandfather, before the villa is demolished and replaced by a hotel,” he said.

Copies of the petition have been sent to UNESCO, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy.

It has been signed by architects, artists and cultural heritage supporters from nations including Iran, the UAE, Lebanon,  Italy, France, US, Britain and Germany

Comments include:

Anders Schepelern, Copenhagen, Denmark: This in an important part of Iranian history.

Pierluigi Serraino, California, US: Gio Ponti is one of the great masters of Modern Architecture and this building is one of his masterpieces.

Libby Kauper, Los Angeles, US: Gio Ponti’s architecture should be designated as an historical landmark. Please do not demolish!

Tina Tyrell, New York, US: I love architecture and Gio Ponti and it’s important to cultural heritage to respect it!

Rita Pacifici Switzerland: Gio Ponti was inspired by “The joy of living there”. It should be absolutely preserved.

Phillip Arnold, Australia: Iran’s cultural heritage extends to the twentieth century and should be protected. This is an exemplary work by an important architect.

Paola Lenzoni Italy: Gio Ponti’s masterpiece is untouchable! People would pay to visit it, you should build next to it, without demolishing it. The inclusion of this house in your hotel would give high value to it! It could become a very high paid suite.

Angela Manetakis, Greece: These buildings need to be protected. They will be the ‘ancient sites’ in centuries to come.

Alexandra Nuñez, Caracas, Venezuela: By demolishing it, you destroy the history of architecture, and it is going to be forgotten in the future.

Dung Ngo, New York, US: This house is not just a modern architectural masterpiece, it is a symbol of international cultural exchange.