Magnificent Taq Kasra to be restored by Iranian budget, expertise

January 12, 2021 - 21:32

TEHRAN – Iran is set to conduct an urgent restoration project on Taq Kasra, a Sassanid-era Persian masterpiece of architecture, which was collapsed partly in modern Iraq earlier this month.

The Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (PBO) have given its seal of approval to allocate the needed budget for the restoration of the Sassanid monument, IRNA quoted tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan late on Monday.

“Due to the historical importance of the ancient monument, discussions were held with Mr. [Mohammad Baqer] Nobakht [who presides over the Management and Planning Organization] in a government session… which was finally resulted his agreement to pay for the restoration,” Mounesan said.

After financial estimates, the Organization will consider budget needed for the restoration of this historical monument, Mounesan added.

He stated that the official letter of this request was also sent to the organization yesterday (on Sunday), adding as soon as the budget is submitted, [a team of] Iranian cultural heritage experts will be dispatched to Taq Kasra with the coordination of their Iraqi counterparts.

Regarding the initial financial estimates for the restoration of the monument, Mounesan said: “According to the photos and images submitted, a credit of about $600,000 is required for the restoration, and as soon as it is provided, experts will be sent to Iraq.”

In early January, some Iraqi social media users posted pictures of Taq Kasra, which is located near Baghdad, writing the vault of the monument is partly collapsed. Social media activists and cultural heritage lovers have also criticized the Iraqi government's neglect of the monument, disapproving of the poor governmental performance in maintaining it….

For years, there have been talks between Iranian and Iraqi officials to jointly restore the magnificent structure, but nothing happened. Even Iranian archaeologists have repeatedly asked the Iranian authorities to consult on the restoration of the monument in cooperation between the two countries. Because they believe Taq Kasra is in dire need of urgent repairs as every time a part of it collapses.

In 2019, Tehran Municipality hold talks with Baghdad’s urban planners and authorities to restore several aging monuments in Iraq including Taq Kasra.

Taq Kasra, also called Ivan Madaen or the Archway of Ctesiphon, are names given to the remains of a circa 3rd–6th-century Sasanian-era Persian monument, which is located near the modern town of Salman Pak, a city located approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of Baghdad.

The arch was part of the imperial palace complex, however, the exact time of its construction is not known with certainty. Some historians believe the founder is Shapour I who ruled Persia from 242 to 272 CE and some others believe that construction possibly began during the reign of Anushiruwan the Just (Khosrow I) after a campaign against the Byzantines in 540 CE.

AFM/

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