TEHRAN, Jan. 6 (Mehr News Agency) -- Column bases of the Apadana Palace of ancient Susa in Khuzestan Province have recently been demolished by vandals.
The palace's remaining column bases have been broken into two pieces and inscriptions on the artifacts have been obliterated, the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage Lovers Society (Tariana) spokesman Mojtaba Gahestuni told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.
The stone inscriptions have been severed and scattered around the ancient archaeological site, he added.
"The reason for the destruction of the artifacts is not clear," Gahestuni remarked, adding, "The incident probably results from the vandals' ignorance of the historical significance of the relics."
He went on to say that many problems are caused by the lack of appropriate fencing around the site which covers about 360 hectares.
"The Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department undertook the installation of rods around the zone, but the measure was inadequate and has not prevented unauthorized people from entering the precinct," Gahestuni explained.
According to Gahestuni, the use of concrete and iron rods for demarcation purposes has even led to some damage to the area.
The Apadana Palace is also being threatened by the construction of a preparatory school on its perimeter.
In early December, Tariana sent letters to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, asking him put a stop to the project.
The school building, which is to be four stories tall, will spoil the horizontal view from the palace ruins.
In addition, the historical metropolis of Susa, which has been inhabited for over 7000 years, is being spoilt by Shush Municipality's construction of a passenger bus terminal in the city's southern section.
Experts have previously given warning of the chaotic situation at the site, pointing out that such disorder has facilitated the illegal activities of smugglers who have managed to carry out excavations in search of valuable artifacts.
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