The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav
(CAIS) -- Chaos continues at the historic sites of
Izeh, a city in the Iranian southwestern province of Khuzestan, as this time
some anonymous individuals drew lines on the bas-reliefs of Kul Farah historic
site with a marker and destroyed part of the reliefs with a sharp object.
is the second time in the recent months that the region’s historic sites are
being deliberately vandalized by an unknown party. Prior to this, the biggest
Elamite cuneiform inscription carved on the rocks of Eshkaf-e Salman also known
as Tarisha Temple, was found splashed with paint. This historic site is located
very close to Kul Farah; and from the very beginning, experts had predicted and
warned that the same disaster could happen to the bas-reliefs of Kul Farah. The
two sites are dated to the Elamite period (3400-550 BCE).
serious measure has been taken so far for removing the paints from bas-reliefs
of Eshkaf-e Salman. Furthermore, almost nothing was done to protect them from
possible future damages. Such inconsiderate behaviour on the part of the Iranian
cultural heritage authorities has now resulted in the destruction of another
Elamite evidence at the 3000-year-old archaeological site of Kul Farah.
The Elamite intaglios of Kul Farah used to have a metal cover which meant to protect them against possible damages. The metal protector was removed to be replaced with a vacuumed glass cover. However, the new glass protector was never made, as the idea could not win the approval of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization. Such negligence together with lack of security guards in the area has now severely put at risk the historic site of Kul Farah.
Farah is situated 7 kilometres southeast of Izeh in Khuzestan province and is
one of the most important historical sites of this province. It is located in a
valley surrounded by two engraved stone mountains.
to Faramarz Khushab, director of the Association of Cultural Heritage Supporters
of Izeh, considering that the only person protecting the bas-reliefs of Kul
Farah is a 70-year-old man who has minimum facilities, it is not a surprise to
see such damages to this historic site.
is while director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Khuzestan
province told Persian service of CHN that the Organization is determined to
provide lighting apparatuses in the area to light up the bas-reliefs. He also
said that more facilities will be given to the guard to prevent repetition of
Due to the existence of large numbers of inscriptions and bas-reliefs, Izeh is known as the “Museum of Persian Tablets;” however, protection of the city’s ancient evidence is nowhere near the top priorities of ICHTO.
The lack of budget and neglect towards Iranian heritage is happening while the Islamic Republic are executing 300 reconstruction projects in the Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf and Kazamain (ISNA November 29, 2006), in which one of the projects in Karbala known as the “Safinat ul-Nejah” has cost the Iranian tax-payers US $7.5 million-dollars; - in December 2005, the regime spent $1.57 million dollars, only for retiling and paving the tomb of 11th Shi'at imam at Kazemain (ISNA January 01, 2006).
The Islamic Republic which is constantly spending hundreds of millions of dollars of the Iranian assets every year in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq; while Kul Farah and hundreds of other Iranian heritage sites are in danger of destruction as the result of lack of financial aid, in which a fraction of the money that is being spent for futile aims in Arab countries could be used to save Iranian heritage from destruction.
The Islamic Republic of Iran holds in great contempt anything Iranian, which has embarked on destroying the pre-Islamic archeological sites throughout Iran. These archaeological and historical sites are some of humanity's most prized cultural heritages and are more than a mere collection of ancient structures. They are embodiments of humanity's historical past and diversity. The atrocious destruction of the Buddha statues by Taliban regime of Afghanistan, pales in comparison to the present bellicose approach of the Islamic regime, to pre-Islamic Iranian heritage.
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