Lost and Trashed Ancient Tablets



Translated by WCHV

According to several news networks in Iran, two ancient heritage tablet dated back to the Sassanian period are in danger of being destroyed. The two inscriptions on the ancient tablets show the Sassanid king in his hunting grounds and shed light on the hunting rituals of the time. Heritage experts believe that the inscriptions have invaluable linguistics, historical, and anthropological significance.

The recent reports from Iran show that these priceless ancient tablets were found abandoned and dumped among piles of rubbish with no protection from the elements. In addition, these tablets are now in danger, vulnerable and could be taken by people who have no knowledge of ancient heritage. Threats to national heritage artifacts have been widely ignored in many places in Iran. About six years ago, thieves trying to steal some artifacts set up explosives at a site which fortunately did not create much damage.


Compulsory Teaching of Islamic Rules to Foreign Tourists in Iran


Amozesh be tourist haa yeThe Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Cultural Heritage Administration of Iran have been commissioned to start teaching Islamic rules to foreign tourists traveling to Iran.

According to the official website of Islamic Republic of Iran, quoting from their dedicated site on Religions and denominations, this decision was ratified by a joint commission of Islamic Parliament’s committee of Law and Culture on August 2, 2014.

According to this decision, Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization, Ministry of Islamic Guidance and all other relevant departments have been commissioned to educate the foreign tourists who travel to Iran about Islamic laws and regulations.

The spokesperson for this joint commission has also mentioned that the decision includes the formation of a special branch to oversee all the breaches of this regulation as well as any other offence related to the Islamic rules.

Disappearing Forests in Iran


park-13Two acres of forests and agricultural lands disappear per week in Iran.

The statistics published by NASA shows that every week two acres of forests and agricultural lands in Iran are removed from the face of the earth. The Environment Protection Authority, which is a governmental department in Iran, is reluctant to publish any statistics of its own or send any report on subject to International authorities.

Nevertheless, Mr. Kamaleddin Pir-Moazzen, the secretary of Environmental section of the Islamic parliament, has recently told the reporters that: “According to the present trend of erasing the forests in Iran, 1 Million acres of the Iranian forests could disappear within the next 5 years and if this trend continues at its present rate, Iran would not have any natural Forests.” Wood smuggling is a lucrative and expanded activity in Iran and contractors, who obtain permits for cutting trees from the government, usually exceed the legal limits. The practice even includes the young newly-planted trees.

Golestan Palace: Recent News



While the Golestan Palace awaits recognition and being listed by UNESCO on the World’s Cultural Heritage list, the area in the vicinity and close proximity to the palace is now under construction.  These few buildings that are being built in the close vicinity of the Golestan Palace are receiving building permits from the city of Tehran.  It is very difficult to understand the timing of these recent developments and the fact that it coincides with UNESCO’s reviews.

A few days ago one of the members of the Islamic parliament by the name of Bijan Nobavaeh told the reporters that many high ranking members of the parliament have connections and are influencing the construction projects.  He also told the reporters that UNESCO has warned the Iranian Government that if these new buildings are built in the very close vicinity of the Golestan Palace, the listing by UNESCO could be jeopardized.

Golestan Palace is the latest Cultural heritage site in Iran which is considered endangered, similar to a number of other sites. These deteriorations have resulted in these sites not being recognized and listed on the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage sites list.

Golestān Palace pronounced “Kakheh Golestān” (The Rose Garden Palace) was built during the reign of Tahmasp I of the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (r. 1750-1779). When  Agha Mohamd Khan Qajar (1742–1797) chose Tehran as his capital, the Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal Qajar family. During the Pahlavi era (1925–1979), the last dynasty in Iran, before the Iranian revolution,  Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions and the Pahlavi dynasty built their own palace at Niavaran. A major part of the Golestan Palace is now a museum open to the public.

Plunder of Historical Artifacts in Yazd – Iran


By: Reza Kamali – Iran

Translation Anahid Amin

There has been a rumor for sometime about the plunder of ancient artifacts in Yazd, Iran, excavated by people who are equipped with proper tools. Following the spread of this rumor,  Bahram Rezaei, director of Cultural Heritage Office in Yazd, has denied the news by saying that: “The people responsible for the destruction of 5 to 10 thousand year old bas-reliefs in Ardakan, a city in Yazd province, and the Hossein-Abad village were most likely searching for mines and did not intend to excavate for antiques”. He also has said that the heavy machinery and tools used are also related to mining. Although mines are legally considered public property and those searching for mines should obtain license for this purpose, no one knows that how this operation has happened. Rezaei claims that an investigation has begun since October. He has added that the number of bas-reliefs are 12 and 6 of them have been found intact since the beginning of this investigation. There is no explanation for how his Office has come to know that the total number is 12.  Local people report that there are many broken and scattered stones after the excavators left the area. They say that there have probably been many artifacts that are now unavailable.