Source: Tehran Times
The Iranian tar virtuoso and composer Hossein Alizadeh, who has worked with many Iranian and foreign musicians, has refused to accept the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier (Order of Arts and Letters), the highest decoration awarded by the French government.
In an open letter published by some Iranian news agencies, Alizadeh said that he does not need any decoration and added that he derives satisfaction from his good name.
He described the time during which he wrote the letter as "the most difficult and beautiful moment" of his life. He spoke of the long difficult path he took to acquire his knowledge of music and to achieve popularity.
He thanked the Iranian people and said, "The art-loving people and my dear compatriots have bestowed upon me the highest honor many times."
He went on to say, "If the political and cultural ambassador of France were to pin this gift given by the cultured people of France on the chests of all our great artists, we would certainly acknowledge the gift and would also praise the shining stars of our history.
"Perhaps, if our officials, who should be the guardians of the country's history, culture and art, had a proper appreciation of the art of music - as our people have - a gift and a decoration from outside our country would not require such reflection.
"Nevertheless, I thank the French officials and the ambassador, and in honor of the art-loving people of Iran, I derive satisfaction from the good name of Hossein Alizadeh, and I shall never add a suffix or prefix to it until the end of my life.
"Lastly, as I congratulate all the great Iranian and world luminaries who have received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, I deem myself free from the desire for any medal."
The French Embassy in Tehran has awarded four Iranian personalities the Chevalier of the Legion of Honors over the past six months.
On November 17, when Iranian translator and Golestan Gallery curator Lili Golestan received France's Order of Academic Palms at the French Embassy in Tehran, the embassy also announced that France was planning to honor Alizadeh with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
In a letter published by some Iranian news agencies last week, Vienna-based Iranian conductor Ali Rahbari, who has collaborated with over 120 European orchestras, asked Alizadeh to reject the French decoration.
The 66-year-old maestro called the frequent commemorations of Iranian luminaries by the French embassy "an epidemic of Chevalier" and said, "The value that the Iranian people place on Mr. Alizadeh is not comparable with any domestic or foreign medal."
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