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04/02/08

Persian Parade NYC: Baba-Karam & Zoraster at Madison Square Park

By Majeed Beenteha

As the Persian Parade day celebrations in New York City was coming to an end, I strolled across the Madison Square Park to reach the Appellate Court building on the North-East corner of 25th and Madison.

Perhaps, unknown to many New Yorkers and my compatriots, presiding over this hidden architectural gem that is now dwarfed by adjusting office buildings, is a life size sculpture of Zoroaster.  Nine other sculptures are located at the roof level, representing famous lawgivers like Confucius, Moses, and Justinian and so on ..
 


The Appellate Court (photo: Museum of the City of New York)


Hearing Baba Karam song echoing through the Madison Square Park and its vicinity was somewhat of a surreal experience on its own. but more interesting was the realization that after thousands of years and thousands of miles away from the motherland.  the Persian community, gathering under different social, political and religious banners, had marched together to celebrate Norouz  and they had reached this spot to mark the day under the symbolic presence of Zoroaster. 

The presence of the sculpture in New York City erected over one of the nation's highest court is significant in itself, but more poignantly or ironically some may say is the missing statue of  the prophet Mohammed. It originally stood at the Western end of the 25th street side of the building, but was removed at the request of the governments of Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan.
 
This fortuitous observation was also a reminder of how the teachings of  these two great men of God have shaped the history and fate of our nation and how their symbolic absence and presence still define us.

You can read more about the building and its history on the following websites.
 

http://ansmagazine.com/summer03/monuments.html

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GRP/GRP036.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/12/weekinreview/12kifner.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.forgottendelights.com/NYCsculpture/NYCSculptureIndex.htm

Ba Sepas
Majeed Beenteha
www.beenteha.com

... Payvand News - 04/02/08 ... --



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