Iranian calligraphy seeks UNESCO status 

June 6, 2020 - 18:43

TEHRAN – Iranian calligraphy is seeking to be registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

All documents about the Iranian art have been sent to UNESCO in a file, Mostafa Purali, a senior official with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, said on Saturday. 

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will announce its decision about the file during its session in 2022.

“Iran has safeguarded the art well and there are many programs to promote it nationwide,” Purali said.

“The writing system in use in Persia since early Islamic times grew out of the Arabic alphabet,” Iranica writes.

“Comparison of some of the scripts developed on Persian soil, particularly Persian-style Kufic with the Pahlavi and Avestan scripts, reveals a number of similarities between them, and this has led certain modern researchers to surmise that when the Persians adopted the Arabic writing system, they may have made changes in the letter shapes and style of writing under the influence of their old national scripts and inherited tastes.

“Distinctive Persian features appear mainly in the taliq, shekasteh-taliq, nastaliq and shekasteh-nastaliq scripts.” 

Photo: Calligraphy by the titan of the nastaliq script, Mohammad ibn Seyfi Qazvini (1553-1615) known as Mir Emad.


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