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The `defenseless Hercules'


Tehran, Oct 5, IRNA-All visitors to the Zagros mountains have seen the historical `Hercules statue' and have written materials to describe this ancient artwork, said an article in Iran Daily on Thursday.

The unique relic has been carved out of a boulder some 300 meters from the east of the inscriptions of the Achaeminid King Darius on a cliff in Bisotoun mountain in Kermanshah province.

Western archeologists and tourists who have visited the monument believe that the relic dates back to 153 BC, coinciding with the reign of Mehrdad I of the Arsacid Dynasty.

Following the commissioning of the Silk Road in 1958, the valuable artifact can be found along the road in full view of all travelers. Of course, the relic has suffered a lot of damage due to numerous visits to the area.

The theft of the statue's head in 1977, which was recovered after a while, as well as the destruction of its hand and body in 1979 are among other damages inflicted on the monument.

In 1977, cultural officials at the time took some measures to restore the historical statue.

One of the undertakings was to create a molage of the head of Hercules and install it in place of the original one, but unfortunately it was vandalized several times so that the number of molages made for the purpose reached eight.

In an interview with Iran Daily, the head of Bisotoun Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Center said that the monument depicts a strong and completely unclothed image of a person with curling hair and beard reclining on a pedestal measuring 214 centimeters by 76 centimeters under the shade of a tree.

Shokoufeh Mehdiabadi added that Ira Alex or Heraklis is the most famous hero in ancient Greek history. He was the son of Zeus, the ancient Greek god.

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