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Iranian Museums Leave Visitors in the Dark: Portuguese Archaeologist


30 April 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Portuguese archaeologist Alvaro Figarova says that Iranian museums are beautiful and full of unique artifacts but do not present the required information to visitors, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday.


Figarova, who came to Iran last week with a delegation of seventy Portuguese museum curators and archaeologists, visited several of the country’s historical monuments and museums.


During his visit to Isfahan, he said that he liked the exhibits of the Abgineh Museum in Tehran and called the museum comprehensive. He also found the Nâyin Museum in Kashan and the Persepolis Museum in Fars Province interesting.


He noted that one can not get a complete picture of Iran’s museums by only visiting a few of them.


“However, all the museums have one point in common, and that is the fact that even the least information is not given to the visitors of these museums. Although I am a foreign tourist, I think even if I was an Iranian visitor, I would not have learned much from the museums,” he added.


He stated that the guidebooks given to visitors are the keys to international museums, adding that one can visit a standard museum without a guide.


“A visitor who enters museums and historical monuments in Iran does not know where to begin and where to end. There is no entrance and no exit way arranged, and if there is no guide, the visitor will definitely lose his/her way.


“It seems that the visitor is given second priority in Iranian museums. There are rare and precious artifacts in Iran, but there is no specific program to present them. It seems that the visitors have been forgotten in Iran’s museums and monuments,” he said.


Figarova has been an active archaeologist for 17 years, focusing on the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Phoenicia. He can also speak French, English, and Arabic, and has begun learning Persian.


“This is the first time I am visiting Iran. Of course, this trip did not add more to my previous knowledge of the history of Iran, but it confirmed my previous knowledge,” he explained.


He went on to say that the “7000 Years of Persian Art” exposition, which was held in Portugal in spring 2005, was one of the inspirations for the Portuguese experts’ visit to Iran.


Figarova said that he is fascinated by Eastern mysticism and literature and that the best moment of his trip was his visit to the Hafezieh in Shiraz.


“The atmosphere of the place filled my eyes with tears. Iranians’ relationship with poets is very interesting for me,” he said in conclusion.




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Source/Extracted From: MNA



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