Iran: Cultural Heritage Authorities Demands Transportation Ministry Change Railway Path
Iranian cultural heritage authorities strictly ordered the
Ministry of Transportation to define a new path for the railway under
construction in Kermanshah to be directed away from Taq-e Bostan historical
Sassanid monument of Taq-e Bostan
Tehran, 12 October 2006 (CHN) -- In
response to a request by the administrators of Kermanshah’s urban railway
construction project to continue their construction activities, the Cultural
Heritage and Tourism Department of Kermanshah province categorically announced
that it would under no circumstances agree with the original path of the railway
which is intended to pass near the historical site of Taq-e Bostan.
Development activities in the vicinity of Taq-e Bostan
historical site during the last three decades have created a dilemma and posed a
real threat to the world registration of this archeological site. Iran’s
cultural heritage authorities are determined to clearly define the boundaries of
the cultural landscape of Taq-e Bostan to prevent any kind of development
projects in the area that falls within.
In an interview with CHN, Siamak Khadivi, manager of
Taq-e Bostan project said that the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of
Kermanshah province has asked the country’s Ministry of Transportation to ask
operators of the railway project in Kermanshah to determine a new path that does
not go through the area that is considered Taq-e Bostan’s cultural landscape.
“On the other hand,” he added “the municipality of the city of Kermanshah
believes that passing of the railway close to Taq-e Bostan would result in an
increase in the number of tourists to the area.” But Khadivi and cultural
heritage experts argue that the natural and historical attractions of this
ancient site by itself have the potential to attract large numbers of visitors
daily and thus there is no need to construct the railway near this area.
By showing its disagreement to development projects in
the vicinity of Taq-e Bostan and attempts to stop such activities, Kermanshah’s
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department is trying to promote the chance for
world registration of this historic site.
Taq-e Bostan (Bostan Arch) is situated 5 kilometers
from of the city of Kermanshah, capital of Kermanshah province, western Iran. It
is a series of large rock reliefs in the heart of Zagross Mountains, belonging
to the Sassanid era (226-651 AD). The carvings which include representations of
the investitures of Ardeshir II (379-383) and Shapur III (383-388) are some of
the best examples of Persian sculpture during the Sassanid dynasty, survived
after nearly 17 centuries despite being situated in an open area exposed to
strong winds and heavy rainfall.
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