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Some of Persepolis Reliefs are Missing 


09 August 2006




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By: Ashk.dokht Suren-Pahlav - Tehran


LONDON, (CAIS) -- Some unique Persepolitan reliefs kept next to the Persepolis Museum have been missing since 1999, and no one is willing to give any information about their current whereabouts.


“In the summer of 1999 while I was carrying out my research for republishing my book, The Persepolis, I noticed there were reliefs next to the Persepolis Museum now missing, which were discovered during the excavations at various points of the terrace, and the original location was unknown”, Dr Reza Moradi-Ghiasabadi an Iranian archaeologist told the news-reporters on Tuesday.


He continued “the original locations of the reliefs were unknown, and therefore at that time there was a plan to transfer them inside the Persepolis Museum or the the National museum in Tehran for public display.”


He emphasized on the uniqueness of the reliefs, and said there cannot be found any reliefs like those missing ones in the Persepolis complex, “those works of art were important for Persepolitan studies due to their uniqueness. In April 2000, I made some enquires about the reliefs and asked for their pictures and details, in which no response was made from the Cultural Heritage authorities. In addition they neither provided me with any information about the location where the reliefs were found, nor they were were willing to inform me about their current whereabouts”.


Moradi-Ghiasabadi after seven years of searching for the missing reliefs said: “these reliefs are different to the rest of the reliefs in Persepolis. I am hoping whatever organization is holding these invaluable artifacts return them, or at least explain why their current whereabouts are kept secret, and no publication has been made available to researchers and public”.


Moradi-Ghiasabadi, described one of the missing reliefs as: “this relief was about 5.1 meter in length, and 0.5 meter depth, therefore its’ weight should have been around one tone. The carvings depict a male figure (gift-bearer) holding one side of a palanquin-like tray carrying few lambs on top, and at the other end another person holding the tray, which the only remaining part of his body were his two hands.”


“I coming here at least twice a year, especially during the Nowruz (Iranian New Year – March 21), and every time I notice some parts are missing. The way it goes, if we want to see the Persepolis in fifty years time, we have to travel abroad, and visit foreign museums or their private collections,” said Zahra, one of the dismayed visitors to Persepolis historical complex.








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