Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shapur the Great Statue to Be Reinstalled



LONDON, May 3 2006 (CAIS) -- A statue of the Sasanid King of Kings, Shapour the Great which was located at a cave in the historical site of Tang-e Chogan near Bishapur in Fars province will be repaired and installed on its original pedestal. Archaeologists came across the statue during excavations conducted in the early 20th century. The statue which had fallen down was repaired. Although the repair work was inadequate, the statue was protected from being destroyed completely.
Research and Maintenance Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) drew up a plan to repair the statue in cooperation with Tehran University in 2005 and an expert specializing in repairing stone statue, Alireza Bahreman was assigned with implementing the project. Bahreman told ISNA said that the project was not implemented last year due to lack of fund, but, part of the budget was made available in the current Iranian year (started March 21) to initiate lab tests on repairing the fragmented sections of the statue and reinstalling it in its original location. He said that the seven-meter high statue was made by cutting the rock in the cave but this rock fell to pieces in the course of time. In 7th century after the invasion of Iran by Arabs and collapse of the Sasanid dynasty, this grand statue was pulled down by invaders and a part of one of its legs was broken. About 70 years ago, again, parts of his arms were also broken. The statue had been lying on the ground for about 14 centuries when about 30 years ago a group of relics raised it again on its feet and fixed his foot with iron and cement.
Since 1979 the statue was left unprotected and the barrier which was set up in the area before revolution to protect the cave and its relics, has been removed and left to be destroyed.

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