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Spirit of Cyrus Enlivens World Heritage List

Source: Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency

It is the spirit of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae that revitalizes UNESCO's World Heritage List and all Iranians should close ranks to protect the historical mausoleum, Zhang Xinsheng, head of the World Heritage Committee was quoted as saying.

Briefing reporters on his trip to Suzhou, China in order to attend the 28th Session of the World Heritage Committee, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, an Iranian delegate, described the day when Pasargadae was unanimously voted to be inscribed on the prestigious list.

"At first, he ICOMOS representative submitted his report to the committee, observing that Pasargadae features 5 of the 6 prerequisite criteria for each site registration," he said. "Afterwards, some countries such as Britain and Egypt suggested the mausoleum belonged to a noble and spiritual leader who urged his subjects to respect human rights and those of minorities over 2,500 years ago. The sixth criterion, dealing with sanctity, was thus recognized for the site and it was voted absolutely positively."

Talebian added the head of the World Heritage Committee later sent a congratulatory note for Mohammad Beheshti, deputy of Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, to express his gratitude for Iran's sincere efforts to preserve the tomb of the Achaemenid emperor. "It is the spirit of Cyrus the Great and that of Pasargadae that enliven the list. The site would glorify the roll," Mr. Zhang reportedly wrote.

Pasargadae, located 70 km north of Persepolis, was the oldest capital of the ancient Achaemenid empire, built by the founder of this empire, King Cyrus the Great (559-330 BCE). It resembled a park of 2x3 km in which several monumental buildings were to be seen.

Prior to his death, Cyrus I founded a new capital city at Pasargadae in Fars and had established a government for his Empire. Pasargadae covered an area almost 1.5 miles in length and included palaces, a temple and the tomb of the king of kings. The city was built on the site where King Cyrus defeated the leader of the Medes, Astyages, in 550 B.C. Cyrus appointed a governor (satrap) to represent him in each province, however the administration, legislation, and cultural activities of each province was the responsibility of the Satraps.

The heart of Pasargadae is the citadel, which is known as Tall-i-Takht or 'throne hill'. It overlooks a garden in the south, and the palace complex itself. This consists of two smaller units: the residential palace and multi-columned audience halls. The audience hall or Apadana can be approached from the south-east; the visitor first has to pass a gate and then has to cross a bridge over the river Pulvār.

... Payvand News - 7/18/04 ... --

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