$11m funding to boost tourism facilities in UNESCO-designated Bisotun

January 25, 2023 - 19:18

TEHRAN – Nearly $11m will be invested by the private sector to boost tourism facilities across the UNESCO-designated Bisotun, which embraces magnificent masterpieces of Achaemenid Persians.

The private sector has agreed to invest 4.5 trillion rials ($11. million) in Bisotun to upgrade its tourism facilities, Kermanshah province’s tourism chief said on Tuesday.

Supervised by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts, the investment scheme is expected to commence in the near future, IRNA quoted Mohammadreza Soheili as saying on Monday.

The official believes that if money is invested in building new facilities and developing infrastructure, the number of tourists visiting this World Heritage site annually, which is currently around 250,000, is anticipated to triple.

At the base of the Zagros Mountains, approximately 30 kilometers from Kermanshah, Bisotun was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List on July 13, 2006.

$11m funding to boost tourism facilities in UNESCO-designated Bisotun

The largest bas-relief and cuneiform inscription were commissioned by Darius the Great soon after he came to rule the Persian Empire in 521 BC, and they serve as the site's main monument.

The gigantic bas-relief shows Darius stepping on the chest of a figure who is lying on his back before the Achaemenid king while holding a bow as a symbol of his authority. The figure is said to be a representation of Gaumata, a pretender to the throne and Median magus, whose death paved the way for Darius' ascent to power.

There are about 1,200 lines of inscriptions below and around the bas-reliefs that describe the battles Darius fought in 521–520 BC against the governors who tried to sunder the Cyrus-found empire.

$11m funding to boost tourism facilities in UNESCO-designated Bisotun

The inscription bears inscriptions in three languages. The oldest is an Elamite text referring to legends describing the king and the rebellions. This is followed by a Babylonian version of similar legends. The last phase of the inscription is particularly important, as it is here that Darius introduced the Old Persian version of his res gestae (things done).

This is the only known monumental text of the Achaemenids to document the re-establishment of the empire by Darius I. It also bears witness to the interchange of influences in the development of monumental art and writing in the region of the Persian Empire. There are also remains from the Median period (8th to 7th centuries BC) as well as from the Achaemenid (6th to 4th centuries BC) and post-Achaemenid periods.

$11m funding to boost tourism facilities in UNESCO-designated Bisotun

According to the UN cultural body, Bisotun bears outstanding testimony to the important interchange of human values in the development of monumental art and writing, reflecting ancient traditions in monumental bas-reliefs.

The Bisotun region contains artifacts dating from prehistoric times to the Median and Achaemenid eras and was on the ancient trade route connecting the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia.


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