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Request for Postponement of Sivand Dam Inauguration Submitted to Islamic Republic' President


12 December 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A request was recently submitted to the office of Islamic Republic president by the Information Centre for Salvation of Ancient Heritage, requesting postponement of Sivand Dam inauguration to give archaeologists more time to save the historic remains of the Bolaghi Valley, an ancient site near the World Heritage Site of Pasargadae in Fars province.


The letter, signed by a number of cultural heritage advocates and 33 NGOs including associations of Cultural Heritage Supporters stationed in different Iranian provinces, was also sent to President of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), and Parliament Commission for Article 90 which has the task of investigating the complaints of the public against governmental organizations.


As the time to inaugurate the Sivand Dam approaches, an upheaval has been taking place in the country by individuals and cultural heritage associations to prevent the tragic destruction of Bolaghi Valley ancient site, which contains numerous archaeological remains, mostly from the Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE) as proved by more than two years of emergency archaeological excavations.


The Islamic Republic Minister of Energy, Parviz Fatah had earlier announced inundation of 18 dams in Iran, including Sivand, by March 2007. However, based on a memorandum of understanding signed between ICHTO and the Energy Ministry, inauguration of Sivand Dam will not take place before ICHTO's approval. Yet, since there is a high possibility that the Cultural Heritage Organization approves inundation of the Dam by the end of this year, cultural heritage NGOs across the country decided to take action and announce their strong objections to inauguration of the Sivand Dam.


The letter was composed last October at the mausoleum's site of the Achaemenid Emperor, Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE) by representatives from cultural heritage associations and NGOs, demanding postponement of Sivand Dam inundation for another four years. Part of the letter sent to the Islamic Republic President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reads: “A declaration was made and signed in October at the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, the founder of human rights, and the person whose name is mentioned as Zol-Qarnein in the Qur’an, demanding postponement of Sivand Dam inauguration which is detrimental to our cultural relics. The declaration received no [official] response. Thus we sent it annexed to a letter to President of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and referring to earlier statements by archaeologists who had announced four years is needed to complete documentation of [archaeological] relics of Bolaghi Valley where the Dam is constructed, requested the Organization to postpone Dam inundation. Copies of that letter are now available in the achieves of the Parliament’s Cultural Commission and the Ministry of Energy and no response was made from the respective organization despite passing of more than two months.”


Already postponed several times due to the historic importance of the area, and pressure from Iranian as well as international communities, it seems the Inauguration of Sivand Dam, according to media reports, likely to take place after the Ministry of Energy reimburses ICHTO for the costs of excavations in Bolaghi Valley, which is estimated at about € 680,000; however, this issue has not yet been confirmed by ICHTO officials.


More than 130 historic sites, large numbers of clay vessels, human skeletons and other evidence of human settlement dated as far back as the eighth millennium BCE, 6000-year-old clay kilns, and most strikingly, the palace of the Achaemenid Emperor, Darius the Great (549-486 BCE) have so far been discovered at the historic site of Bolaghi Valley during an international attempt to save as much as possible the historic evidence of this area before being engulfed by the reservoir of Sivand Dam.




Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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