A group of journalists was allowed to The Marble Palace in downtown Tehran with a reinstated owner of the facility saying it will become a museum to attract tourists in two weeks’ time.
The palace, built in 1934, has been the scene of major historic events, including former monarch Reza Shah’s abdication of power after the occupation of Iran by Allied Forces during the Second World War, Press TV reported.
It served as an office for government authorities over the past decades until the Mostazafan Foundation (Foundation of the Oppressed and Disabled) took back ownership in recent months.
Pictures taken showed the palace had remained in a good state of preservation. Its dome, which is a replica of a historic mosque in the city of Isfahan, was still shining with tiles laid by prominent Iranian architect Hossein Lorzadeh.
The Marble Palace had served as a museum in 1970-1977. It was closed as a residence for Iranian monarchs after a terror attempt on the life of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1965.
Iranian and French architects contributed to the design and construction of the building. Its five-story basement has been serving as a museum for religious activities for the past years.
Reopening the palace comes as the Iranian government seeks to attract more tourists from other countries.
Tourists from China and other Asian countries are specifically interested in historic monuments in Iran as symbols of the oriental culture of the country.