TEHRAN -- The capitals and entablature of the main entrance of the Masudieh Palace in Tehran are being threatened by vibrations caused by metro trains passing under the neighborhood.
The deputy director of the Technical Protection Department of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) announced on Tuesday that a meeting with Tehran Metro officials will soon be held to discuss the issue.
Hossein Bahrololumi said that the damage caused to the Masudieh's capitals and entablature by the metro vibrations affecting the building and its foundation has been documented and reported by CHTO experts.
He stated that the palace will gradually be destroyed in several years if the foundation and the entire structure is not reinforced soon, adding that the Tehran Metro must provide the funds for the project.
The Masudieh Palace was constructed on the order of Zellossultan, the son of Nassereddin Shah of the Qajar dynasty, in the same year that the Golestan Palace was built.
The grounds of the palace used to cover an area of 40,000 square meters, but now only 20,000 square meters remains. The decorations inside the building were produced under the influence of Western art during the last years of the Qajar dynasty.
It was later purchased by the government in 1941 and was entrusted to the Ministry of Education. The National Museum of Iran was later established in one hall of the palace.
The Masudieh has faced many ups and downs over the years. The serious damage inflicted upon the ceiling's unique mirror works by a fire last year should have been a warning for officials responsible for cultural heritage sites.
The palace, which is currently being renovated, is located in the old neighborhood of Baharestan, near the Sepahsalar Mosque and the new Majlis building.
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