(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Ministry of Tourism and UNESCO signed an agreement on Tuesday to implement a preservation project in the Petra's Siq.
Financed by the Italian government through the Italian Development Cooperation, the project will focus on sustainable monitoring techniques for assessing the instability of slopes in the narrow gorge that leads into the ancient city, according to Anna Paolini, head of UNESCO's office in Amman.
"The Siq stability project will document, monitor and identify unstable areas and slope sectors at risk in the Siq, and will carry out long-term monitoring of the slope and consolidate selected areas," she said at the signing ceremony, attended by Minister of Tourism Nayef Al Fayez and Italian Ambassador to Jordan Francesco Fransoni.
Paolini explained that the project will be implemented by international and Jordanian geologists.
According to the Italian ambassador, his government has allocated 1 million to fund the project as it "has a great cultural value in an area of priority interest of the Italian Development Cooperation".
He noted that the Italian government has funded the implementation of several preservation projects in Jordan, including the Mosaic School in Madaba and the Qusair Amra restoration project.
In addition, the Italian government has authorised funding for a tourism development programme in the historical city of Irbid and another one in Tafileh, according to Fransoni.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fayez said the implementation of this project is very important to the Kingdom as "Petra for Jordanians is a place that tells the history of Arabs and the future of Jordan".
"It is our utmost concern to be able to preserve this wonderful world wonder, which is so fragile and needs to be protected," he noted.