IRNA, the official news agency of Islamic Republic of Iran, has published a report on the illegal actions of two employees of Cultural Heritage Organization who have authorized the destruction of Choghā Mīsh site, in Khuzestan in western Iran, by accepting bribes. The amount accepted is a sum of $700,000.00. IRNA reports that both of the employees have been dismissed from their jobs without any further legal action. Choghā Mīsh is an ancient site in Iran, with at least 8000 years of history which is believed to be the first place where writing has been invented. The remains of an ancient city made of baked mud bricks, supposed to be as old as the age of first writings, was scattered through the site that has been demolished.
Last year a number of historical houses in the ancient city of Yazd were destructed upon the orders of the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei. The reason was to make space for new religious gathering sites. The protests of friends of historical sites got nowhere and the Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO) whose mission is to preserve historical sites kept silent. Now, we have received new news that yet another historical site that was situated behind Molla Esmail Mosque is has been destroyed. This time CHO has risen its voice but to explain why this has happened. It has announced that “It was suppose to build an office for the Leader’s Representative behind this mosque but they have destroyed a historic house by mistake. We have sent a letter to the Friday Imam so that they rebuild the house as it was before!”
The celebration marked the establishment of UNESCO as a UN Organization, and served to highlight the core values and concepts forged by UNESCO since 1945, that continue to underpin its action today.
In his address to a packed auditorium, Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the Organization as a “powerful force for peace”, a “champion of freedom of expression” and “a staunch defender of education, culture and sciences”.
“On this anniversary, let us return to UNESCO’s founding constitution,” the Secretary-General said. “Let us heed its wisdom that ‘culture and education for justice, liberty and peace are indispensable to human dignity and the sacred duty of all nations.”
Responding to Mr Ban and welcoming “the whole United Nations family”, Irina Bokova said the world was still very much in need of the inspiration and courage that led to UNESCO’s creation and which had guided the Organization over the past seven decades.
“Today, as the world did in 1945, we face a vast array of challenges and threats,” said the Director-General. “We need the same audacity that gave birth to this house 70 years ago. We need to think big again. In the face of violence and violent extremism, we must raise high again the flag of solidarity and build a more lasting peace through education, through the dialogue of cultures, through mutual understanding on the basis of respect and equal dignity. In the face of climate change, we must unleash the full power of human ingenuity, human creativity. This is our ultimate inexhaustible renewable energy. And this is UNESCO’s mandate.”