Source: Tehran Times
INLA Director Es'haq Salahi (R) and the chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations of Azerbaijan, Elshad Iskandarov, attend a meeting in Tehran on September 15, 2013. (Photo by IRNA)
The director of the Iran National Library and Archives has asked the Republic of Azerbaijan to stop the replacement of the Persian inscriptions at the tomb of the Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. Es'haq Salahi made the request during a meeting with the chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations of Azerbaijan, Elshad Iskandarov, in Tehran on Sunday, the Persian service of IRNA reported.
In August 21, the director of Nezami Ganjavi Centre of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Khalil Yusifli, announced his center's plan to replace the tiles inscribed with poems in the Persian language in Nezami's mausoleum with analogous poems in the Azerbaijani language.
This step is being taken to ensure that everyone knows that Nezami is a representative of Azerbaijani literature, he told Trend, a major private news agency in Azerbaijan.
"The Iranian people are highly sensitive about their luminaries. We hope the Persian inscriptions return to the mausoleum of Nezami," Salahi told Iskandarov.
"Nezami is a Persian poet. We should not deny the past. It would be better if Azerbaijan preserves the authentic inscriptions," he added.
The mausoleum of Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi in the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani's plan to replace the inscriptions has received a negative response from Iran.
"Though Azerbaijanis are trying to do something for the culture, these steps are contrary to culture," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham previously said.
However, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elman Abdullayev has commented on Afkham's statement and said, "He (Nezami) was born in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani people are proud of him. It can't even be discussed."
Iranian National Commission for UNESCO Director Mohammadreza Saeidabadi has also raised an objection to the plan.
In a letter, which was published by Iranian news agencies on Monday, he asked Gunay Efendieva, the executive secretary of the Azerbaijan National Commission for UNESCO, to convince Azerbaijani officials to cancel the plan.
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