The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- The
beauty and authenticity of the Sasanian site of Taq-e Bostan has been spoilt by
unwarranted additions, Taq-e Bostan Research Centre director Siamak Khadivi
history Taq-e Bostan has had a strange attraction for graffitists, would-be
artists, royal inscribers and vandals and these additions have spoilt the beauty
and authenticity of the original monument.
graffiti on ancient monuments and illegally adding artworks to cultural heritage
sites and artefacts are the actions of people devoid of culture. Such activities
only serve to ruin the beauty, significance and authenticity of our heritage,”
Khadivi told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.
since most of the additional artworks and inscriptions on Taq-e Bostan have been
created by Qajar rulers and officials, these appendages are now considered to be
part of the history of the site,” he added.
Taq-e Bostan Research Centre has recently completed a project on the subject.
research, which is soon to be published in book form, has discovered that
additional inscriptions have been written in Persian, Arabic, English, French,
Hebrew, and several other languages.
between mounts Paru and Farrokhshad, the Taq-e Bostan monument comprises two
arches bearing many unique bas-reliefs on their inner and outer facades
depicting various aspects of the political, religious and social lives of the
Sasanian dynasty (224-651 CE).
such relief depicts a scene in which the Sasanian Emperor Khosrow II (r.
590-628) is being crowned by a Zoroastrian deity and Anahita. There are also
bas-reliefs of the Sasanian king of kings Ardeshir II (r. 379-383) and Shapur
III (r. 383-388).
larger of the two arches also carries bas-reliefs portraying a Sasanian monarch
on a hunting ground.
Ali Mirza Dowlatshah, son of Qajar king Fathali Shah, created the largest
additional inscription and bas-relief on the underside of Taq-e Bostan’s
larger arch in 1821. The bas-relief
depicts Mohammad Ali Mirza on a throne, his son, and the Qajar official Aqa
Ghani Khajebashi. Certain eulogies composed by Besmel, a poet from Kermanshah,
have also been carved beside the bas-relief.
another inscription, Mohammad Ali Mirza has compared the region with Mount Sinai
and has also likened himself to Moses.
modern vandals have also caused damages to the site by adding further graffiti.
Bizarrely, one of them has carved the name of the former Dutch footballer Ruud
Gullit on the underside of the larger arch.
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