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In addition to Kaba of Zoroaster in Naqsh-e Rostam, King Xerxes Tomb also will be destroyed if Esfahan-Shiraz Railway Project to be constructed


12 September 2007




LONDON, (CAIS - Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav) -- In addition to destruction of Kaba of Zoroaster less than 10 years, also based on existing evidence such as the cracks which exist on the body of Xerxes’ and the other Achaemenid imperial tombs in Naqsh-e Rostam, and the close distance of Esfahan-Shiraz railway to this historic site, experts give a strong possibility that the rumbling of the trains would break the tomb of Xerxes in two halves. 


Warning about this unpleasant fact with presenting a number of pictures as evidence, in the one-day seminar with the subject of Endangered Naqsh-e Rostam which was held yesterday by attendance of cultural heritage experts and archaeologists, Mohammad Taghi Atayi, archaeologist and expert of Pars-e Pasargadae Research Centre said: “Most probably, the constructors of this tomb were aware about existence of these cracks on the body of the mountain during ancient times, which is why they devised a method to prevent the penetration of water in the tomb through directing the rain water into a pool through a canal above king Xerxes tomb. However, today this pool has been filled up, therefore the rain water enter into the cracks and widen them.”


The jolts caused by the train will worsen the situation of the tomb which might turn into a cultural heritage disaster.    


While all cultural heritage enthusiasts presented in the seminar, voiced their concern over hearing these statements, one of the attendees in the seminar expressed his opposition in favour of Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Road and Transportation and called Atayi’s comments groundless. This opponent man, who didn’t introduce himself, claimed that the rail construction will pose no harm to Naqsh-e Rostam historic site and said that nothing has been approved yet.


However, cultural heritage enthusiasts present in the in the seminar tried to calm down the summit to prevent any kind of tension. It is also said that a number of authorities of regime’s Railway Organization attended the seminar anonymously and showed no reaction to the statements.   


Recently the news about construction of Esfahan-Shiraz railway only in vicinity of Naqsh-e Rostam historic site have became a matter of controversy and has raised a lot of concern among cultural heritage experts who are worry about the negative consequences of this project on Naqsh-e Rostam. In addition to intruding the cultural landscape of this historic site, cultural heritage experts strongly believe that construction of the railway only in 550 meters of Naqsh-e Rostam would pose irrecoverable damages to this historic site. It would also reduce the chance of Naqsh-e Rostam’s world registration to zero. Parse Pasargadae Research Centre is determined to prepare the ground for registration of Naqsh-e Rostam in list of UNESCO’s World Heritage site as annex of Persepolis world heritage site.


The Islamic Regime’s Ministry of Road and Transportation has officially been ordered by ICHTO to change path of the railway connecting Esfahan to Fars in an attempt to save this historic site. One of the solutions which have been proposed by experts of Pars-e Pasargadae experts for saving the cultural landscape of this Achaemenid site against railway construction and its aftermath harmful effects, is e of the Achaemenid site is to construct a 6-kilometer-long tunnel from Sivand to Shoul village and direct the train through the tunnel.


Naqsh-e Rostam is an archaeological site located about 3 kilometres northwest of Persepolis in Iran’s Fars province. It contains four tombs which belong to Achaemenid emperors. In addition to tombs, there are also seven Sasanian rock carvings located underneath the tombs.    


This one-day seminar was held by effort of Iran’s Association of Cultural Heritage Watch, in conjunction with Islamic assembly of Tehran University and scientific associations of archaeology union. A number of well-known Iranian archaeologists such as Kamyar Abdi, Mehrdad Malekzadeh, Mohammad Taghi Atayi, and Mohammad Taghi Rahnemayi gave lectures about introducing the Elamite, Achaemenid, Sasanian, and Islamic evidence of Naqsh-e Rostam historic site and focused on the importance for preserving this invaluable cultural heritage site in view of tourism attraction.


Since 1979 the Islamic Republic has been in a state of constant war with the Iranian people as well as their national heritage. In this latest attempt in the war of destruction of Iranian heritage, the fundamentalist regime in Tehran has been insidiously planning to obliterate some of the most cherished places in Iranian history. They intend to eradicate this invaluable site to obliterate the memory of one of history's great Zoroastrian rulers of Iran.






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