Neighboring Arab countries are plundering Persian architecture: Farshchian

December 4, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Over the past few years, some of Iran’s neighboring countries have been purchasing Persian books and research works compiled by Iranian masters of art and history, and have translated them into Arabic or Turkish, plagiarizing Iranian art, culture and history and palming it off under their own name.

Prominent Iranian artist and master of miniature Mahmud Farshchian, who currently resides in the United States, expressed his opinion concerning this matter to the Mehr News Agency in a phone interview.
Unfortunately, the story of forging Persian art and culture is not an issue that just surfaced today, Farshchian said, adding, “Based on the archaeological research, the history of Iran’s architecture dates back thousands years, and it has been progressing all that time.
“Iran’s architecture enjoys unique characteristics compared to those in other countries, such as efficient design, precise calculation, functional form, concern with the technical details of structure, porticos with high columns, and beautiful decorations, all of which narrate the glorious development and longevity of Iran’s architecture,” he remarked.
“In the recent years, the book ‘Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Design’ has been published and translated into several languages as a book on Arabic and Islamic art, while it contains Persian art and tile works,” Farshchian explained.
He emphasized that Iranian art and Islamic art are closely related to each other but are also totally distinct from one another. He stated, “I am a practicing Muslim but this does not mean that I will keep quiet while others introduce Persian art as the art of their countries. Although Iranian art and Islamic art are interdependent, we can not label all Iranian art as the same as Islamic art.”
Farshchian went on to say, “Sometimes Our officials remain silent over these kinds of topics because of political issues, and the Arabs pay no attention and actually capture Persian art in this way.
“Iran is like a valuable treasure chest filled with the riches of a variety of arts and our neighbors are doing these sorts of things to create a culture for themselves by stealing gems from our Iranian treasure chest. It is the incumbent upon our cultural officials and masters of art to find a solution for this problem,” Farshchian concluded.
Master of art and Islamic architecture Mahmud Maheronnaqsh also expressed his deep regret over the issue and said, “The Arabs have published all the trade secrets of traditional Iranian architecture in a book and wherever they goes unchallenged, claiming this architecture as their own not the Persian’s. And we sit here immobilized, mourning that Persian architecture is dead.”
He stressed that Iran’s Arab neighboring countries introduce Iranian art as their own art to the world and said, “The artists of Pakistan and Afghanistan have always admitted that they imitate Persian architecture, having observed this on my trips to these two countries, but unfortunately in Arab countries, despite the fact that their architecture is deeply rooted in Persian architecture, they deny imitation and claim it belongs to them.
“The neighboring Arab countries have no background in the art of architecture and use the Iranian masters’ sources to write books, while only the Arabs of North Africa have their own unique style of architecture of which is quite distinct from our architecture,” he explained.