Explosions Shook Historic City of Toos
Tehran, 28 December 2006 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Recent explosive operations by Road & Transportation Department of Khorasan Razavi province for construction of a belt road three kilometers from the city of Toos have caused cracks to appear in the surrounding walls of this historic city. Construction of the belt road close to the historic city of Toos has recently started without coordination with Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO). This is while based on an act passed by the Iranian Cabinet Ministers, all governmental organizations are obliged to coordinate their projects with ICHTO and obtain permission.
Expressing strong objection to the activities of the Road & Transportation Department of Khorasan Razavi province, Vafa Sabeti, head of the Research Center of Toos Historic City said: “Currently a team of cultural heritage experts has been dispatched to the historic city of Toos to make a report from the damages caused by the explosive operations.” Considering that the city has large numbers of old buildings, Sabeti predicts that more likely the city’s main rampart, the ruling seat of the ancient citadel, and Haroonieh have also seen damages by the explosive operations. However, since the city’s rampart extends for 7 kilometers, Sabeti believes that assessing the extent of damages to this historic city is a time-taking process.
On the other hand, executive authorities of road construction claim that their operations do not pose any threat to the ancient monuments of Toos. “We had to use weak explosives to destroy the trenches that exist on the path of road construction; but explosions are set at a distance of 3 kilometers from the city; therefore, this historic city is safe,” said Ali-Akbar Alipour, the project manager.
The historic city of Toos is located in Khorasan Razavi province, northeast Iran. It was among the first cities that were destroyed by the Mongol invaders and like other cities of Khorasan province was almost completely ruined. Ruins of old Toos can still be seen in this city today; however, Toos is most famous for the tomb of Ferdowsi, the renowned Persian poet of the 10th century AD.