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ICOMOS is 50


ICOMOS-50thThe Second Congress of Architects and Specialists of Historic Buildings, held in Venice in 1964, adopted 13 resolutions, the first being the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, better known as the Venice Charter, and the second, put forward by UNESCO, provided for the creation of ICOMOS.

From 21 to 25 June 1965, the Constitutional and First General Assemblies of lCOMOS took place in Warsaw, Poland. Besides the delegates from 26 countries, representatives of three major organisations who had contributed to the creation of lCOMOS participated as observers: UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOM (International Council on Museums) and UIA (The International Union of Architects).

This year, 18th of April 2015 ICOMOS celebrates its 50th anniversary by honouring its founders and highlighting its achievements so far, but above all by reflecting on its future objectives through a series of international events and on the basis of a modernized set of Statutes and Ethical principles

18th of April, 2015

Wolfram Kleiss An overview of Sassanian Fortifications


By Dr. Kaveh Farrokh

gorgan_wallThe article below “Fortifications” by Wolfram Kleiss in the Encyclopedia Iranica was originally published on December 15, 1999 and last Updated on January 31, 2012. Kleiss provides an overview of the fortified passages and defenses of the Sassanians, some of which can be traced back to the Achaemenid era.

This article is available in the print volumes of the Encyclopedia Iranica (Vol. X, Fasc. 1, pp. 102-106).

Kindly note that the article below contains pictures and captions that do not appear in the Encyclopedia Iranica version.


The present article deals with the fortified passages and defenses that are implied under the term bārū. Certain passes in Persia still feature barriers going back to the Achaemenid period. An example is the stone wall at the Kotal-e Sangar in Fārs, which bars the way from Persepolis and Bīšāpūr to Ḵūzestān on the saddle (not a real pass) between the Mamassanī plain (plain of Deh-e Now) and the Fahlīān plain, and which is identical with the medieval and modern caravan route (today’s modern highway between Shiraz and Ahvāz). The rubble wall that by now has almost entirely disappeared was originally 1,230 m long and extended between both sides of the saddle’s rugged, steeply rising rock faces. The construction has been associated with a wall mentioned by Arrian (Anabasis 3.17), which the Uxians are said to have erected as a customs-barrier on the road between Ḵūzestān and Fārs, and around which Alexander had made a great détour on his expedition from Susa to Persepolis before taking it by surprise (Stein, pp. 39-44; Kleiss, p. 213, fig. 1).

Another wall (Kleiss, p. 214, Fig. 2) was built on top of the pass 36 km east of Farrāšband and 28 km west of the modern city of Fīrūzābād in the province of Fārs. It overlooks the road between the Sasanian settlements around Farrāšband and the Sasanian round city of Gōr (q.v.) with the bridge over the river west of Fīrūzābād, and is, at the same time, a barrier similar to the one in the Qalʿa-ye Doḵtar area north of Gōr (present-day Fīrūzābād, q.v.), a fortification at the northern access to the plain of Fīrūzābād (Huff). The barrier on the pass extends over a length of about 200 m in a fairly straight line from northwest to southeast in the shape of a ruined rubble wall that was once of considerable height. On the eastern side of the wall lies a heap of stones, the remains of a small halting-place or a tower, the exact measures of which are unknown. The dating of the barrier is unclear; perhaps it was built in the Sasanian period and continued being used in the Islamic period.Fortifications-1-Firuzabad-AerialView Derbent-Krevar-Winter Trabzon-Defense-Walls

Cultural Heritage Cleansing in Iraq and Syria


<> on July 3, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq.In an article published online on CNN.com last month, Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO talks about the destruction of cultural heritage by ISIS and related security issues.
Bokova writes: “The pillage of the Mosul museum by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria displayed a violence rarely seen since the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyian. The bulldozing of the archaeological site of Nimrud marked a new step in the cultural cleansing underway in Iraq. These acts are a deliberate attack against civilians, minorities, heritage sites and traditions. In the minds of terrorists, murder and destruction of culture are inherently linked.”

Bokova points out that the true nature of this conflict is a war against people. By destroying culture and cultural heritage sites these terrorist groups are attempting to crush free thinking and to ensure oppression through domination. The Islamist terrorists forbid girls to go to school, kill journalists and vandalize and destroy museums. They destroy all symbols that embody freedom of thought and respect for cultural diversity.
In her excellent article, Bokova writes that when culture is under attack, we must respond with more knowledge, and with ever greater effort to work to explain the importance of humanity’s shared heritage. Bokova also asks all young people, especially in Iraq and elsewhere to claim their national heritage as their own
Articles such as Bokova’s article importantly point out that terrorists are using destruction of national heritage as a way to destabilize populations, spread terror, and encourage violence and threaten the security of the country and the region.
To read this article go to: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/07/opinions/bokova-isis-artifacts-destruction/

Music for Omar Khayyam


In this YouTube video,  you can listen to Serenad Bağcan singing poetry of Omar Khayyam translated into Turkish with the music composed by Fazil Say.fazil and Serenad Bağcan

Music for Omar Khayyam
Poetry: Omar Khayyam
Composer: Fazil Say
Vocal: Serenad Bağcan