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Unwarranted Adjuncts Spoil Authenticity of Taq-e Bostan: Researcher


19 September 2007




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  Qajar ruler Mohammad Ali Mirza along with his son and two Qajar officials are depicted in a bas-relief carved in the middle of Taq-e Bostan’s larger arch in 1821 (Click to enlarge)

LONDON, (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 said.


Throughout 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.


“Writing 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.


“However, 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.


The Taq-e Bostan Research Centre has recently completed a project on the subject.


The 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.


Located 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).


One 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).


The larger of the two arches also carries bas-reliefs portraying a Sasanian monarch on a hunting ground.


Mohammad 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.


In another inscription, Mohammad Ali Mirza has compared the region with Mount Sinai and has also likened himself to Moses.


Unfortunately, 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.




Extracted From/Source*: Mehr News


*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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