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Theft panic stops installation of bronze sculptures in Tehran


Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Mohammad Moin

The Tehran Municipality stopped installation of new bronze statues after another statue theft was reported on Saturday.

Tehran Municipality's Statue Office announced on Sunday that the bust of Persian lexicographer Mohammad Moin, which had been installed on Ostad Moin boulevard in western Tehran less than a month ago, has been stolen.

"Since other statues could be stolen, we currently have no other recourse but to stop installation of new bronze sculptures," the office director Mojtaba Musavi told the Persian service of the Fars News Agency on Sunday.

Three new statues were scheduled to be placed in various parts of Tehran in the upcoming days.

Last week, eight bronze statues were reported stolen from the urban environments of Tehran in serial thefts.

Municipal contractors are responsible for safeguarding the statues, Musavi said.

"They must compensate us for the sculpture thefts. However, it is impossible to compensate for the spiritual loss of the statues," he lamented.

According to Musavi, making each of the statues costs his office about 100,000,000 to 120,000,000 rials ($10,000 to 12,000).

The statues are stolen for the value of the metal used in making them, Musavi said last week.

The artworks will likely be melted down and the bronze in them sold to scrap metal dealers.

Tehran Municipality's Statue Office has filed a lawsuit against the culprits.

Meanwhile, Tehran Municipality's Beautification Organization announced on Sunday that the theft of one of the busts has been recorded by a camera of the traffic surveillance system located nearby.

Investigation by Tehran police has resulted in positive outcomes, which will soon be announced, Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia said on Sunday.

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