Sat, Jun 11, 2005
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Arts & Culture
Scourge of Heritage Theft Reemerges
Seyyed Rahim Moazzen-Zadeh
UNESCO Deadline on Jahan-Nama Tower Closing In
Safavid, Achaemenid Artifacts at Louvre
Steven Wright (American comedian, born in 1950): I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract.
No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.
First-Ever Anthropography Atlas Being Compiled
2nd Parvin Literary Award Due
The Bread
Saramago to Launch New Book
Artist Ideas Invited for Space Station Gallery

Scourge of Heritage Theft Reemerges
Rampant plundering of cultural heritage has once again re-emerged in an archeological site, this time in Chegard area, Iranshahr, IRNA reported.
The impassioned pillaging of artifacts, which plagued Jiroft in 2002 and led to the destruction a large segment of cultural and civilizational heritage of the early inhabitants of central Iranian plateau, passed on to the Espidezh cemetery and now to Chegard.
An informed source, who spoke to the news agency on condition of anonymity, acknowledged the news and regretted, ÒUnearthing of antiquities dating back thousands of years has become a childÕs play for looters in Iranshahr, 350 kilometers south of Zahedan, in Sistan-Baluchestan province.Ó
He went on to say, ÒIn Chah Hashem and Chegard districts, looters are plowing several hectares of earth to dig out artifacts with thousands of years of history and sell them to enemies of culture and civilization.Ó
Earlier in 2002, Espidezh graveyards, in Iranshahr, were plundered and over 250 graves ruined. Ninety-seven percent of monuments in that district dating back to five thousands years ago were pillaged.

Seyyed Rahim Moazzen-Zadeh
Seyyed Rahim Moazzen-Zadeh Ardebili, IranÕs top Azan (call to prayer) reciter, was born to a religious family in 1925 in Ardebil, West Azarbaijan. His father, Sheikh Abdolkarim was also a reciter and one who performed the first live radio recitation of the Azan in 1943.
After his death, Rahim followed the example of his father and continued reciting the Azan on the radio.
Azan recitation has been a tradition in the family since 150 years ago and the name Mozazzen--in Arabic a person who recites the Azan--testifies to the venerable practice.
Master Moazzen-Zadeh improvised the most popular and melodic Azan ever recited in Iran in the holy fasting month of Ramadan in 1955. The famous Azan has been broadcast from state radio and television for almost 50 years now.
Moazzen-Zadeh was honored in the 12th Holy QurÕan International Exhibition. Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami also commended him.
Moazzen-Zadeh advocated pure innovation in reciting the Azan and religious hymns and was categorically against replication of Arabian styles. Imitation ruins the originality of the work, he believed.
The master insisted that religious singers and narrators should be well-versed in traditional music styles and rhythms to produce novel and innovative works.
He said he had always felt spiritually proud of reciting a memorable azan that would remain in the minds and hearts of people.
Moazzen-Zadeh, named IranÕs Bilal after the pioneer Moazzen of Islam, passed away in Tehran at the age of 80 from cancer. His monumental call to prayer is still and will keep playing through the minarets of mosques throughout the country.

UNESCO Deadline on Jahan-Nama Tower Closing In
A view of Naqsh-e-Jahan Sq.
Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ahmad Jalali, voiced UNESCOÕs readiness to end up the dispute over IsfahanÕs Jahan-Nama Tower and decide its future, wrote CHN.
Jahan-Nama Tower, only 760 meters from the world heritage Naqsh-e-Jahan square, has been a bone of contention between ICHTO and non-governmental organizations advocating cultural heritage on the one side and the Municipality of Isfahan which wants the 48-meter-high tower completed, on the other.
Jalali added the UNESCO deadline for Iran to save the age-old square was closing in, adding the organization was still awaiting the verdict of the court hearing the case.
ÒAuthorities of Isfahan Municipality turned a deaf ear to UNESCOÕs warnings, whereas UNESCO Director General, Koichiro Matsuura in a visit to Isfahan acknowledged his organizationÕs deep concerns about the square.Ó
Jalali remarked that the issue was being followed up by ICHTO which is responsible to update UNESCO on latest reports.
Construction of the 13-story Jahan-Nama trade center within the perimeter of the historic square started in 1996. The Municipality of Isfahan has been insisting on continuation of the project irrespective of domestic and foreign protests.
UNESCO has threatened to exclude the ancient Naqsh-e-Jahan Square from its World Heritage List unless the construction operations are terminated. The body will decide its fate in an upcoming session.

Safavid, Achaemenid Artifacts at Louvre
The exhibition would provide a golden opportunity for introducing IranÕs rich culture and history.
An exposition of historic and cultural artifacts, dating back to Safavid and Achaemenid eras, will be held in Louvre Museum (Musee du Louvre) in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
According to Public Relations Department of Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, ICHTO chief Hossein Marashi, said the exhibition would provide a golden opportunity for introducing IranÕs rich culture and history to other people.
Speaking at a meeting with president of Louvre Museum, the official reiterated that Safavid and Achaemenid eras are two crucial periods of Iranian history in terms of political and social prosperity.
Referring to continued cooperation between FranceÕs Louvre and the ICHTO, he expressed hope that Iran could benefit from FranceÕs experience in museum management.
President of Louvre Museum, Henry Loyrette, also voiced his interest in organizing exhibitions which display a glimpse of IranÕs rich culture, literature and music.
Louvre welcomes these expositions which are suggestive of IraniansÕ traditions and decorum in the two eras, he said, calling for the arrangement of a museum of Louvre artifacts in Iran.
He further suggested that a publication be set up for promoting Louvre and Iran museum artifacts.
Loyrette added that IranÕs Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance would set up an Islamic Department in France in 2009 to promote Islamic arts there.
Established in 1793 by the French Republic, the Louvre Museum, in the company of the Ashmolean Museum (1683), the Dresden Museum (1744) and the Vatican Museum (1784) is one of the earliest European museums. Divided into eight departments, the Louvre collections incorporate works dating from the birth of the great antique civilizations right up to the first half of the 19th century. It is home to more than 34,000 artifacts in an area of 60,000 square meters. An annual six million people visit Louvre.

Steven Wright (American comedian, born in 1950): I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract.
No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.

Mirbahaeddin Bridge in Zanjan. (IRNA Photo)

First-Ever Anthropography Atlas Being Compiled
All projects conducted within the framework of National Anthropography Plan will be reviewed by researchers of the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization by yearend, based on which IranÕs first-ever anthropography atlas will be compiled, CHN reported.
Head of Research Center for Anthropography and director of the plan, Mohammad Mirshokraei, said the project which covers all parts of the county was launched in 1992 and was almost completed in 2004.
"The research phase has been conducted by five-member teams who spent a total four months of library and field research in more than 260 cities," he recalled, adding the software program of Iran's anthropography atlas has been designed and is being experimentally used in Semnan province.
Reports complied on every town and city will be published in the form of books which can serve as sources for further expansive research, he said, adding anthropography atlases will also be published for every province.
The comprehensive national atlas will then be complied using the information supplied in provincial atlases.
The director enumerated the aims of the anthropography scheme as demarcation of cultural zones, recognition of cultural commonalities among different ethnic groups and how they can contribute to national unity and identity.

2nd Parvin Literary Award Due
Parvin Etesami
Second Parvin Etesami Literary Award ceremony will be held on July 27 concurrent with the auspicious birth anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh (SA), Fars news agency reported.
Mohammad Reza Vasfi said the contestantsÕ works are being judged by a panel of experts whose names shall not be revealed. Most of the jurors were present in the First Parvin Etesami Literary Award last year.
The award, named after the famous Iranian poetess Parvin Etesami, will be granted only to women writers in different fields of story writing, scriptwriting, poetry as well as literary criticism and research.
Parvin Etesami, daughter of author and translator Yousef Etesami, was born in Tabriz in 1906. She composed her first poem in the classical style at eight. During her short life, which lasted for only 35 years, the poetess achieved great fame. ParvinÕs language is closer to that of ancient classic poets including Manouchehri and Nasser Khosro. She used plenty of allegories, anecdotes and stories in her poems. She died of typhoid in 1941 in Tehran and was buried in Qom.

The Bread
Out of home, before sunrise.
Back home, after sunset.
The quest for a loaf of bread,
Does not let us see the Sun!

Saramago to Launch New Book
Portuguese author Jose Saramago, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998, will launch his next novel simultaneously in six nations in Europe and Latin America in October, AFP quoted his publisher as saying.
The 82-year-old author's latest work, "The Intermittency of Death", will be released first in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Portugal, Portuguese publisher Caminho said.
Saramago, whose novels include "The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis" and "The Cave", has said his new book will have a different style from all those which he has written so far but has refused to give more details.
His last novel, "Lucidity" released in March 2004, tells the tale of a right-wing government's violent reaction to an election in which more than 80 percent of votes cast are blank.
Saramago is the first, and so far only, Portuguese-language author to receive the world's most prized literary award.
He has sold more than 3.5 million copies of his slightly surreal books, which have been published in more than 30 languages.
Born to poor parents in a farming town outside Lisbon in 1922, Saramago was raised in the Portuguese capital where he worked mainly as a journalist until a bloodless coup in 1974 put an end to a repressive right-wing dictatorship which had ruled Portugal for nearly five decades.
His literary career did not take off until the publication in 1982, when Saramago was 60, of "Baltasar and Blimunda", a historical love story set in 17th-century Portugal.

Artist Ideas Invited for Space Station Gallery
Artists who want their work to boldly go beyond the upper atmosphere have three weeks to come up with ideas for the planet's most unusual gallery, the Guardian reported.
Initial consultation on a cultural use for the International Space Station, which orbits Earth 250 miles into space, finishes at the end of this month.
Cosy and experimental projects may all find a place in the 44.5-meter long vehicle, in which 15,000 cubic feet of space could, in theory, host dancing, poetry recitals and plays.
Artwork already features in some of the pods used by crew members, particularly the Russians cosmonauts, who have developed a flourishing painting group on Earth.
"People associate the space station almost exclusively with scientific work," said Nicola Triscott, director of the science-art agency The Arts Catalyst, which has been commissioned by the European Space Agency to make a six-month study of practical proposals for art in space. "But the agency believes very strongly that the cultural world should have a say in the future of space exploration."
The Arts Catalyst has carried out projects, including using weightlessness chambers on parabolic aircraft flights. Artists and promoters have got on well with commanders and crew, said Triscott.
"We had a great time with the head of their Zero Gravity team who said: 'I'm a military man but when I'm not giving orders, there's nothing I like more than dealing with you artistic people'," she said.
Suggestions will be sifted to avoid projects which aim to gratify artistic egos, with actual journeys into space for artists unlikely.
Triscott said, "There have only been a couple of scientists actually go up so far, so in practice we'll be talking about work which the trained astronauts can carry out on artists' behalf."
The team have been encouraged by videos brought back by the Spanish crew member Pedro Duque, which showed a colleague playing the guitar, others taking photographs of the extraordinary views, and artwork on the metal walls.