TEHRAN, June 5 (Mehr News Agency) -- A huge bronze statue of the celebrated Persian epic poet Ferdowsi was unveiled at Iran's National Library on June 2. The statue, which is eight meters tall and weighs ten tons, was made by the Azerbaijani sculptor Nasim Issaev, who told Mehr News Agency, "I made the statue in collaboration with three other people including my son. The process involved four stages and the die-casting and molding took about ten months."
Issaev mentioned that students of sculpture in Azerbaijan attend special courses where they learn the processes involved in the creation of these enormous statues.
"I made a huge statue of Hossein Javid (an Azerbaijan-based poet) five years ago in Azerbaijan. We have also made a statue of Nezami, weighing 60 tons, in a joint effort consisting of 15 people." he added. A statue of a combatant made by him was erected in the south Iranian port of Khorramshahr 15 years ago.
Issaev considers his statue of Ferdowsi to be his best project so far.
He extended his thanks to those who had helped him in the creation and transportation of the statue, and he was presented with a plaque of honor for his work.
He intends to make further statues of famous Persian literary and cultural figures in the hope that cultural ties between the countries of Azerbaijan and Iran will be strengthened.
Ali-Akbar Ash'ari, director of Iran's National Library and Archives, made a short speech about the poet at the ceremony saying that the name of Ferdowsi is immortal in the annals of the Persian epic and that his magnum opus, the Shahnameh (Epic of Kings), reflects the essence and identity of the Persian language.
A tribute was also paid to Mehdi Shayani, renowned bard of the Shanmaneh, who recited the story of Rustam and Sohrab at the venue.
The ceremony was attended by officials of the Cultural Institute of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Iran's National Library deputies, authors, political figures and the scholars Amir-Ali Nojumian, Reza Seyyed-Hoseini and Mostafa Rahmandust.
The statue of Ferdowsi was made at the suggestion of Ash'ari. Iranian officials have also asked Issaev to make a sculpture of a chemical bomb of the type used by the Iraqis in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, however he has not accepted the offer as yet.
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