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Photos: Journalists criticize crude restoration of historical Khaju Bridge in Isfahan


TEHRAN, Aug. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Isfahan Press Activists Society issued a statement on Sunday to censure the inept restoration underway on Khaju bridge, one of the most famous historical bridges built over the Zayanderud River in Isfahan.

Over 40 journalists who signed the statement believe that the restoration, being carried out by experts of the Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (ICHTHD), is ruining the authenticity of the Khaju Bridge.

The original stairs removed from the Khaju Bridge can be seen jumbled up in front of the historical monument in a photo taken last month. The stairs were replaced by new ones during the Isfahan cultural heritage department's so-called restoration project.

According the statement, no colloquium was held by ICHTHD to discuss scientific methods for restoration of the bridge.

Instead of restoration, some of the original stones used in building the bridge have been replaced by new stones, which are different in color from the original ones.

The ICHTHD experts involved in the restoration project argue that they want the visitors to recognize the restoration by the difference!

A number of historical carved stones and gravestones unearthed during the restoration have been damaged by truck traffic at the perimeter of the bridge.

The ICHTHD has threatened to sue the journalists who wrote the articles in Isfahan local dailies and periodicals criticizing the restoration project.

The Khaju Bridge was built around 1650 during the reign of the Safavid king Shah Abbas II on the foundations of an older bridge.

Comprised of 23 arches, the bridge is 105 meters in length and 14 meters in width.

The Khaju Bridge had previously been restored in 1873.

Visitors have been deprived of the fascinating scenes that used to be created by the reflection of the bridge on Zayanderud river, which has been dried up since 2007.

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