Museum of Qasr Prison offers virtual voyages in history and arts  

November 25, 2020 - 18:30

TEHRAN – With many arts institutions closed around Iran, the Museum of the Qasr Prison is another cultural institute that re-starts offering virtual tours using tour guides.

The live tours can be reached every day on the Instagram account of the Museum, starting at 11 a.m. local time, the museum announced on its website. 

Many cultural heritage museums and historical sites across the country have gone online once again amid the third wave of COVID-19 in Iran.

Located in the heart of Tehran, the museum was once a palace complex in the Qajar era (1789–1925), which was repurposed into a prison during the Pahlavi epoch (1925-1979). Several political and non-political figures were imprisoned there. It became a museum in 2011. 

The Iranian authorities have imposed a two-week lockdown in the capital and some 150 Iranian cities from November 12 as the country is battling a third wave of the virus. According to the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, the sites’ staff must be present at work during this period, but the sites and museums are closed to the public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The cultural heritage museums and historical sites have so far been closed and reopened for times from the pandemic’s early days onward in a preventive measure to curb the disease. 

Due to a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths, all historical sites as well as all art and cultural centers, universities, schools, seminaries, English schools, libraries, movie theaters, mosques, beauty salons, and several other entities have been shut down once again.  

Museums at forefront of closures

Early November Mohammadreza Kargar, the director of museums and historical properties at the tourism ministry announced that Iranian museums have taken 1.7 trillion rials (some $42 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) hit from the coronavirus outbreak over the previous months.

If the country was in normal condition, the museums would host over 25 million visitors, but now they have faced a huge loss as there is almost no visitor to the museums, he noted.

In October Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan warned that Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism will be in a critical situation if the crises caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus continue.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, museums were at the forefront of closures and for several months now, they have not had any revenue from the sale of tickets, Mounesan explained.


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