By Afshin Majlesi

‘Reconstruction of heritage museums atop agenda’

February 4, 2018 - 8:26

TEHRAN – Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has assigned a high priority to reconstruct its affiliated museums that are deemed as timeworn or vulnerable to massive quakes.

“Iran is a highly-earthquake-prone country so that we are seeking to found such museums, which can withstand natural and other threats,” CHHTO Deputy Director Mohammad-Hassan Talebian said in an interview with the Tehran Times.

Currently, several “safe” heritage museums have been constructed and are operational across the country such as the ones in Khorasan Razavi and Golestan provinces, he said.

Back in November, a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake which struck western Iran caused damages to some historical sites including a Safavid-era caravanserai, and a Sassanid-era fortress in Qasr-e Shirin, Sarpol-e Zahab and Dalahu.

“Our priority is to complete museum-structures that have been abandoned due to budget deficit such as the ones in Tabriz, Kermanshah, Ahvaz, and Pasargadae,” he added.

“We have also broke the ground on a new museum in Jiroft, Kerman province, which will be replaced with the Jiroft Archaeological Museum, once completed.”

Meanwhile, the official pointed to vast potential of the private businesses and sponsors, saying “We welcome private sector assuming more supporting roles in renovation of museums.”

Iran to host Louvre collection

Elsewhere in his remarks, Talebian said that the National Museum of Iran is preparing to hold an exhibition of historical objects to be loaned from the Louvre.

“The collection will contain some 35 select of pieces associated with various cultures such as Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. It will embrace several ancient Iranian objects as well,” he said.

The official said that the exhibit will open its doors in March.

In return, Iran will exhibit works related to the Qajar era (1789-1925) at a Louvre’s satellite museum in Lens, northern France.

During President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France in January 2016, the Louvre signed an agreement with Iran that cleared the way for improved bilateral cultural and scientific cooperation.