Museums, heritage sites ready to display private collections

September 12, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Museums, palaces, and other heritage sites affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts all over the country are ready to display the collections owned by the private sector.

“By preserving valuable historical artifacts and relics, collectors make a great contribution to the best preservation of a part of the country’s culture and historical identity,... therefore the tourism ministry is ready to fully support the collectors,” tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said during a meeting with the private collectors on Tuesday.

“I believe that collectors are people who work with love and passion, and considering the value of their work, they need to be introduced and promoted properly.”

The minister also suggested that the private collections could be included on the comprehensive tourism portal, which introduces the tourist attractions and historical and cultural capacities of the country in five languages.

He also stressed that donated collections will be displayed in the name of their collectors.

Pointing to the valuable private collections he said that these are some exquisite treasures which, as a part of the Iranian history of civilization and historical identity, could attract more domestic and foreign tourists to the country and make it an important tourism hub in the world.

Some three million historical objects are currently being kept in Iranian museums which are affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

“There are many historical relics that are owned by private collectors and entities and the government cannot act in order to preserve them in the museums; therefore, we made efforts that this [cultural] heritage to be conserved and showcased in private museums,” according to Mohammadreza Kargar who presides over the ministry’s museums and historical properties department.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, embracing settlements dating back to 4000 BC.

The name of Iran, formerly known as Persia, mostly conjures up the first Persian Empire, ruled by the Achaemenids (550 – 330 BC) and sites such as Pasargadae and Persepolis. However, there are tens of prehistorical sites as the Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchestan, Tepe Sialk in Kashan, Susa and Chogha Zanbil in the Khuzestan province, and Ecbatana in Hamedan which predate the Achaemenid period.

From a wider point of view, Iranian history can be divided into Pre-Islamic and Islamic eras. The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) that put an end to the mighty Sassanid Empire (224–651) was a turning point in the history of the nation.