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Photos: Construction of new zarih of shrine of Imam Hussein completed

09/29/12 Report by Tehran Times; photos by Mohsen Saeidi, Mehr News Agency

Iranian artists and artisans have completed the construction of the new zarih (outer sarcophagus enclosure) of the holy shrine of Imam Hussein. It was unveiled during a ceremony at the Masumieh Seminary in Qom on Thursday, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported.

Iranian miniaturist Mahmud Farshchian, who is the designer of the zarih, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and a number of other officials attended the ceremony.

The construction of the zarih has been arranged by Iran's Center for Reconstruction of Holy Shrines.

The new zarih will be on show at the seminary until October 6 and then it will be transferred to Iraq to replace the old one in Karbala in three months, the center's director Hassan Palarak said.

The center also plans to rebuild the dome of the shrine in the near future, he added.

Part of the zarih had previously been put on display in an exhibition at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center in November 2011.

Farshchian was commissioned by the Zarih-making Board of Trustees in Qom in 2007 to create the new design that was completed in March 2011.

Iranian miniaturist Mahmud Farshchian

Afterwards, a large group of Iranian artists in the city of Qom was hired to build the zarih, which was made of gold, silver, copper and teakwood.

Palarak said that his center spent about 140 billion rials (about $11.5 million) to make the zarih.

About 1250 kilograms of gold, about 1800 kilograms of silver and about 600 kilograms of copper have been used in construction of the zarih.

A large quantity of the gold has been donated by the Iranian people, he added.

The latest techniques have been used in lighting in this structure. In addition, crystals with the ability to change light and color have been installed inside the zarih

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