Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stolen Pillar Capital of Persepolis Returned Home


Tehran, 16 May 2006 (CHN) -- A pillar capital which was stolen from the palace of Persepolis in Fars province and found kilometers away in its neighbor province, Kerman, was returned by Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Kerman Province to where it belongs.
“This pillar capital was seized by the police department in an armed conflict with a number of drug smugglers who were intending to cross the border with this precious object. Luckily the police acted right away and confiscated this pillar capital and gave it to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Kerman Province. The Department then returned it to its original place a few days ago,” said Hossein Rashidzadeh, head of the cultural heritage police department of Kerman.
Along with this pillar capital, a large number of guns, explosives, and some stolen vehicles were seized from these drug smugglers by the cultural heritage police department of Kerman province.
According to Rashidzadeh, the city’s court is currently considering what charges to press against these smugglers and is going to release a statement soon.
Persepolis Palace Complex is one of the most prominent and splendid historical sites of Iran which dates back to the Achaemenid era (648 BC–330 BC). The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it is assumed that Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king, began working on the platforms and the structures of Persepolis between 518 and 516 BC as the seat of his vast empire.
The construction of Persepolis took almost a century. However, the splendor of Persepolis lasted only two centuries before its majestic halls and residential palaces perished in flames when Alexander conquered and looted this palace in 335 BC and according to Plutarch carried away its treasures on 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels. However, Alexander was not the only one who plundered Persepolis, although he is responsible for most of the damages caused to this historical heritage of Persia. During the past centuries, smugglers have repeatedly stolen parts of the palace of Persepolis and have sold them to several museums and private collection owners outside the country. Iran’s Cultural Heritage Police Department is trying hard to save the remaining of this gorgeous looking palace, which was once the capital of the Persian Empire, from being plundered again.

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