|Fajr festival to screen doc on history of Susa excavations||
Farshad Eketsabi directed “Susa”, which was produced at IRIB’s Channel 1, organizers of the festival announced on Monday.
“This film delves into the early excavations carried out during the reign of Qajar king Nasser ad-Din Shah and also shows how the artifacts discovered at the ancient site were transferred to France,” producer Abdolhamid Arjmand said.
The crew of the documentary made several trips to France to conduct interviews with some experts and also to make scenes with the artifacts, which are on display at Louvre, he added.
“I saw visitors’ jaws drop when they saw aspects of the Iranian civilization at the museum. It amazed them how the Iranians had placed a very huge bull statue on a 25-meter tall column,” he stated.
“Many scenes were remade in order to make the documentary close to the reality. In addition, we made most of the scenes at the ruins of Susa,” Eketsabi said.
“Susa” will be shown in the documentary section of the Fajr festival, which will be held in Tehran from January 31 to February 11.
The artifacts were discovered at Susa during some excavations by French archaeologist Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy (1844-1920).
In 1880, he requested a government assignment in Iran. He arrived in Tehran and was attended to by a French doctor François Tholozan. Shortly thereafter they embarked upon an expedition to Susa, where Dieulafoy and his wife explored the remains of the palace first uncovered by William Loftus some thirty years previously.
Upon his return to France, he obtained a grant from the newly-founded Department of Antiquities at the Louvre and from the Ministère de l'Instruction Publique in order to fund further study as well as logistical support from the French army and navy.
The Dieulafoys returned to Iran in 1884. It was Tholozan, then official physician to the Qajar court, who intervened on Dieulafoy's behalf with the Persian authorities to obtain permission to explore Susa further, with the proviso that the Tomb of Daniel not be disturbed. A further agreement was reached which allowed any discoveries made at the site, except for those of precious metals, to be split equally between the French and Persian governments. Work took place between the winters of 1885 and 1886.
Dieulafoy's expedition succeeded in discovering numerous objects, most of which ended up in the Louvre.
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