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Preserving the Ctesiphon Arch, Protecting the National Identity


18 April 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Preserving the historic Ctesiphon Arch as an Iranian heritage in danger and inscribing its name in UNESCO’s list of endangered heritage were discussed during the third conference of Iran’s History of Architectural Style and City Planning currently held in the city of Bam in Kerman province. The participants of this conference also called on immediate action to save the historical cities of Gondi Shapour, Ivan-e Karkheh, and city of Tispawn later Tisfun (Ctesiphon).

In an interview with CHN, Faramarz Tathir Moqadam, member of managing board of Institute for Tehran University Graduate Engineers said, “In an official statement, our institute has requested the coordinators and participants of the third conference of Iran’s History of Architectural Style and City Planning to call on all related world organizations to put their maximum efforts into renovating the Ctesiphon Arch which is not only considered as a national treasure, but is also a world heritage currently in real jeopardy.”

According to Tathir Moqadam, inscribing this architectural masterpiece in UNESCO’s List of Endangered Heritage will draw the attention of the world and would result in both financial and moral support from world organizations to preserve this ancient monument.

CtesiphonePalace7.jpg (35714 bytes)The Institute for Tehran University Graduate Engineers which is partly engaged with the condition of endangered historic monuments both inside Iran and abroad is one of the institutions that have taken part in this year’s architectural style conference of Iran.

For more than 12 centuries the city of Ctesiphon in Khvarvaran province (modern Iraq) with its huge castles and magnificent buildings was the capital city of Persian Emperors until 642 CE when Arabs seized, looted and destroyed all its castles and buildings except for one which is Shahigan-i Sepid (White Palace), also known as Taq-i Kasra, Iwan-e Khosrow, Palace of Khosrow, Iwan-e Madaein, as well as Ctesiphon Arch.


One of the legendary item that was looted from the Palace by the Arab invaders, was the Bahârestân carpet, which after fourteen centuries, still remains fresh in the minds of the Iranian people. The huge jewel-studded' 'Spring Carpet of Khosrow', with its silk and golden threads fell into the hands of the invading Muslims and was cut into 60,000 pieces, and each piece was then sold by the looters for 12,000 dirham. No trace of this carpet is to be found today.


According to Tabari, Ali Ibn Abi Talib was the one who suggested to cut the Baharestan carpet into pieces. Ali then sold his piece of the carpet for twenty thousand dirham.

The Ctesiphon Arch as the imperial palace, was located within the Persian Empire in the present-day Iraq when Baghdad and its suburbs used to be part of the capital of the forth Iranian dynasty, the Sasanids. The remains of this edifice can still be seen 38 km from Baghdad. It is still alive and speaks of the great and magnificent Iranian civilization and culture. This magnificent example of Iranian architectural style has seen a lot of harm during the past few centuries, especially during the Iran-Iraq war. Also, the ancient city of Tispawn (Ctesiphon) was completely abandoned during Saddam’s regime in Iraq. “This world heritage does not at all deserve such a destiny,” said Tathir Moqadam with regret.

The Third International Conference of Iran’s History of Architectural Style and City Planning is currently held in the city of Bam in Kerman province and will run to 19 of April 2006.




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Source/Extracted From: CHN


Related Article(s)/News: 

01 Jan 2006: Arab Gunmen Accompanied by Islamic Regime Revolutionary Guards wreck “Palace of Khosrow” ruins (Ctesiphon)

02 April 2003: Iraq Accused of Sheltering Behind Remains of Ctesiphon Palace




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