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Islamic Republic's Hostility towards Cultural Landscape of Achaemenid Bistun Continues


06 February 2007



Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


LONDON, (CAIS) -- For the second time in the past few weeks, the Kermanshah Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department has filed a legal complaint against the provincial Telecommunication Organization for its activities in the vicinity of Bistun which have intruded the cultural landscape of this world heritage site.


Despite previous objections raised by the provincial CHTO regarding this project, the Telecommunication Organization is now claiming that it obtained permission from the Islamic Republic Governor Office of the province to continue its activities in the vicinity of Bistun world heritage site. 


Two weeks ago, the diggings to lay cables in Bistun plain resulted in destruction of some historical monuments dating back to the Sasanian (224-651 CE) and Ilkhanid (1256-1336) dynastic periods near the historic Khosrow Bridge.


The Islamic Republic’ Telecommunication Organization rejects to take responsibility for the damages caused and puts the blame on the inhabitants of the nearby Chambatān Soflā village and its council. On the other hand, in an interview with CHN, Hosseini, member of Chabatan village council, said that the villagers started the diggings in Bistun plain by the order of the Telecommunication Organization and they did not install cable poles in the region.


According to Asadollah Biranvand, director of the KCHTO, the case will be taken to the court for further investigations to find out who was in charge of diggings in Bistun plain. “We have presented the court with a full list of the names of those who had a role in this project,” said Biranvand to Persian service of CHN.


Biranvand further said, since the KCHTO is the only legal body that can issue permission for diggings and other construction activities in the province’s historic sites, the provincial governor office has no right in giving such permissions.


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