Naqsh-e Rustam site in danger


December 4, 2006

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The railroad project had been stopped on the order of the Marvdasht public prosecutor some time ago, but he revised his ruling and the road construction machines recently resumed operations at the site in Fars Province, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.

“The function of the Marvdasht court is full of ambiguities for us. Thus, we plan to sue the Marvdasht prosecutor through the CHTO Legal Office,” Brigadier General Ruhi explained.

“When the prosecutor rules that an operation must be stopped to prevent a crime, he can only rescind the decision if he is convinced that the operation is no longer a crime,” CHTO Legal Office director Omid Ghanami said.

Many actions have been taken to prevent the machines from working at the site, people have even lain down in front of the bulldozers, but the project workers are continuing the operations, archaeologist Afshin Yazdani of the Parseh and Pasargadae Foundation noted.

A five-meter high embankment spoiling the landscape of the Achaemenid site of Naqsh-e Rustam has been made for the railway track about 350 meters from the monument.

Experts have said that the rumbling of the trains will damage the monuments at Naqsh-e Rustam in the future and will cause Zoroaster’s Kaba to collapse in less than ten years if the railroad becomes operational.

Naqsh-e Rustam is important since the tombs of Achaemenian kings such as Darius I and Xerxes I are carved into the solid rock of Mt. Hossein. The site also contains remnants of the Elamite and Sassanid eras.

Original article here