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Protective Measures not Sufficient at Persepolis

By Maryam Tabeshian
Only 14 to 15 people at a time guard the ancient palace of Persepolis, Iran’s most prominent historic site, while an average number of 1200 people visit this Achaemenid complex each day.
Ruins of Persepolis, the seat of the
Persian Empire during the Achaemenids
Tehran, 16 November 2006 (CHN) -- Security at the world famous complex of Persepolis, located in present-day Fars province, is by no means compliant with the number of visitors this Achaemenid palace receives daily. Only 14 to 15 people protect the area at a time, a number which is in no way sufficient for guarding such vast archeological site.
“Persepolis is one of Iran’s ancient sites which requires extra protection due to the large number of visitors it receives. This is while this historic complex does not have more than 15 caretakers for each shift,” says Maziar Kazemi, director of Persepolis complex to CHN.
Kazemi further added that the total number of security guards at the four most visited historic sites of Fars province, namely Naqsh-e Rostam, Naqsh-e Rajab, the Sassanid city of Estakhr, and Persepolis, does not go beyond 64 while the ideal number is between 100 to 110 people.
According to Kazemi, some parts of Persepolis are left completely unprotected due to lack of security guards. This is while on average 1000 to 1200 people visit Persepolis on a daily basis.
Based on studies by the Parse-Pasargadae Research Center, most of the damages seen in Persepolis in the recent years have been caused by its visitors, a fact which points to the inadequate number of guards at this ancient palace complex and further stresses the necessity for bringing in additional security guards to the area.
The Research Center has so far sent over 20 letters to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Fars province, calling on the Department to increase its guards at Persepolis, but apparently no positive step is taken in this regard yet.
The historic complex of Persepolis, which is by far Iran’s most important ancient site, was built in 518 BC during the Achaemenid dynastic era (550 BC–330 BC) by the order of King Darius the Great who later chose this place as the seat of his mighty Empire.
Persepolis, Greek for ‘city of Persians,’ was burnt down by Alexander of Macedon in 333 BC during his conquest of the Achaemenid capital (see account by the Greek historian, Diodorus). However, the importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archeological site and one of the most visited historic sites of present-day Iran.
Persepolis was one of Iran’s first historic sites added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
View more images of Persepolis here

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