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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- The Iranian family drama “The Private Life of Mr. & Mrs. M.” directed by Ruhollah Hejazi won two top awards at Canada’s 4th Iranian Film Festival, which was held in Toronto from April 26 to 28.
     
    The film was selected as the best film of the festival and Hejazi received the best director award at the event, Persian media outlets announced on Thursday.
     
    “The Private Life of Mr. & Mrs. M.” is about Mohsen, who is trying to move his business up to a higher level, but when his wife gets involved in the business, he finds it difficult to tolerate the underlying conflicts.
     
    The best short film award went to “This Was My City” directed by Tina Pakravan.
     
    Parviz Parastuii won the best actor award for his role in “I and Ziba”.
     
    The best actress award went to Parivash Nazarieh for her role in “Waiting for Miracle”.
     
    Fereidun Hassanpur won the best scriptwriter award for “I and Ziba”.
     
    The best animation award went to “Fishers” directed by Nima Ghazanfari.
     
    The festival also presented a lifetime achievement award to actress Gohar Kheirandish, who was also the head of the jury at this edition of festival.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Another Persian translation of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Eternal Husband” was recently published in Iran.
     
    Saeideh Ramaz translated the book, which was unveiled by the publisher Afkar at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair, currently underway at the Imam Khomeini Mosalla.
     
    The novella, written by Dostoevsky in 1869, explores the relationship between two men–Velchaninov, a middle-aged bachelor who suffers from hypochondria, and Trusotsky, a widower from the provinces. 
     
    The two men are connected by relationships with a woman who is now dead.
     
    Ali-Asghar Khobrehzadeh and Mahmud Akhtarian have previously translated the book into Persian.
     
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 –1881[b]), was a Russian novelist, short story writer and essayist. 
     
    Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. 
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A book on “A Cube of Sugar”, a feature which was to represent Iran at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category in 2013, was unveiled in the 26th Tehran International Book Fair on Thursday.

     
    The book entitled “A Cube of Sugar” has been published by Sureh-Mehr, an institute which is affiliated with the Art Bureau.
     
    It contains the script of the film along with interviews with director Reza Mirkarim.
     
    A chapter of the book has also been dedicated to the viewpoints of a number of cineastes including Majid Majidi and Behruz Afkhami on the film.   
     
    “A Cube of Sugar” tells the story of a happy family party, which turns bitter over some sad news and events.
     
    The film was selected as Iran’s submission to the 85th Annual Academy Awards this year, but it missed the race after Iran decided to boycott the Oscars in protest of the Academy Awards’ silence on the production of an anti-Islam video in the United States.
     
    Posted on the Internet in September 2012, the amateurish video “Innocence of Muslims” insults Prophet Muhammad (S).
     
    Iran expected the Oscars’ organizers to denounce the film, which was produced by an American citizen.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN – The 26th Tehran International Book Fair hosted a ceremony on Friday, during which a Spanish translation of the Shahnameh, the epic masterpiece of the Persian poet Ferdowsi, was unveiled.

     
    Venezuela's ambassador to Tehran, Amenhotep Zambrano, translator Beatriz De Salas, Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini and a number of officials attended the ceremony, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday.
     
    In a short speech delivered at the ceremony, Salas said that it took over three years for her to render Shahnameh into Spanish and that she chose to translate the book to show the unity between the nations.
     
    Salas, who teachs Spanish at the Islamic Azad University of Tehran, also said that the translation of Shahnameh helped her get to know the power and development of Persia in ancient times.
     
    Ambassador Zambrano also delivered a brief speech and said that the Spanish translation of Shahnameh is a treasure they can take to their country.
     
    Shahnameh’s Spanish translation is currently on show at the Venezuela pavilion at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair, which is underway at Imam Khomeini Mosalla until May 11. 
     
    Shahnameh, which is known as the “Book of Kings” in English, is the celebrated work of the epic poet Ferdowsi, in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. It was completed in 1010. The Shahnameh millennium was accepted on UNESCO’s 2010 calendar of events.
     
    According to historical sources on Persian literature, Ferdowsi spent 30 years writing the Shahnameh, which is comprised of nearly 60,000 verses.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – The publication of Persian versions of the Turkish novels “The Forbidden Love” and “The Magnificent Century” has stirred controversy at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF).
     
    Over the past two years, Iranian viewers have been watching two Turkish-made soap operas of the same names based on the novels via Gem TV, a foreign Persian satellite channel that broadcasts films, TV shows, and TV series.
     
    The TV dramas have repeatedly been criticized in the Iranian media over their immoral content. “The Forbidden Love” is based on a romance novel by Turkish writer Halit Ziya Usakligil, and “The Magnificent Century” chronicles the adventures in the imperial household of Suleiman the Magnificent in the mid-16th century.
     
    Iranian officials made various comments about the publication of the novels in Iran.
     
    Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini said on Friday that the rest of the copies of the novels will be removed from the TIBF.
     
    Afterwards, the director of the Evaluation Committee for the TIBF said on Saturday that there is no ban on offering the books for sale at the book fair.
     
    “All the regulations have been observed in the publication of the novels, and there is no ban on the publication of the books in Iran,” Majid Hamidzadeh stated.
     
    He said that the criticism of the TV serials should not be generalized to include the novels.
     
    The TIBF, Iran’s biggest trade show of books, runs until May 11.
     
    MMS/YAW/HG
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Four stage artists from Slovenia and Italy will hold workshops during the 16th International University Theater Festival, which opened in Tehran yesterday.
     
    Vida Cerkvenik Bren and Jaša Jenull from Slovenia will hold workshops on street theater. 
     
    Nicola Pianzola from Italy will hold workshops on physical theater from May 9 to 11 and his compatriot Valentina Valentini will discuss the role of voice in the theater during workshops on May 8 and 9.
     
    The festival will also host to several Iranian and foreign plays during the event, which will continue until May 12.
     
    The Ljud Theater Troupe from Slovenia is scheduled to perform a street theater entitled “Electric Invasion”. Cerkvenik Bren and Jenull are the directors of the group.
     
    Anna Dora Dorno from Italy will also stage “The Contemporary Hermit” at the festival, which will be held at ten different theaters in Tehran until May 13.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Seven sculptors from different countries are participating in the Fifth Tehran International Sculpture Symposium, which opened at Tehran’s Noruz Park on Saturday.
     
    Rumen Mihov Dimitrov, Petre Petrov and Nikolay Yotov from Bulgaria; Fernando Alvarez Perez from Spain; Lenny Ratnasari Weichert from Indonesia; and Christian Rey from Uruguay and Mauricio Guajardo Rubio from Chile will create works along with Iranian sculptors during the event, which has been arranged by Tehran Municipality’s Beautification Organization
     
    Among the Iranian sculptors are Mohammad Marvasti, Mehdi Rangchi, Ali Vaziri, Shahriar Rezaii, Samaneh Reihani and Fatemeh Majidi.
     
    Iranian wooden sculpture masters Jamshid Moradian and Mohammad-Hossein Emad are the guests of honor at the symposium, which runs until May 15 at Noruz Park located on Africa Ave.
     
    SB/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei paid a visit to the 26th Tehran International Book Fair on Saturday. 

     
    Ayatollah Khamenei visited several pavilions and held talks with officials, publishers and organizers of the fair. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini and several cultural officials were accompanying the Leader.
     
    Over 90 publishing companies are attending the TIBF’s World Book Market, a section which has been established to boost cooperation between Iranian and foreign publishers. 
     
    A total of 77 publishers from different countries including Britain, U.S., Germany, India, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon are attending the fair this year. 
     
    About 150 specialized meetings and book unveiling sessions have also been arranged on the sidelines of the book fair.
     
    The 26th Tehran International Book Fair is underway at Imam Khomeini Mosalla until May 11. 
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Saba Art and Cultural Institute plans to hold a retrospective of Mansureh Hosseini, Mahmud Javadipur, and Ahmad Esfandiari, three pioneers of Iranian modern art who died over the past year.

     
    A collection of paintings by the three artists along with a selection of their paraphernalia including photos, notes, canvases, hats and canes will go on display at the institute opening on May 12, Saba director Masud Naseri said in a press release published on Saturday.
     
    Artists Javadipur and Hosseini were members of the Iranian Academy of Arts and the exhibit is said to be a commemoration ceremony of the two artists, he added.
     
    The exhibit will also display some rarely seen paintings by the artists, he said. 
     
    He added that a workshop and a review session have also been arranged during the month-long event, and several art critics and painters are expected to speak at the opening ceremony.
     
    Hosseini died in summer 2012 at the age of 86. She was suffering from heart disease for the past few years.
     
    Javadipur died of serious pelvis injuries and pulmonary embolism in Germany in November 2012 at the age of 92.
     
    Esfandiari died of natural causes in March 2013. He was 90.
     
    Saba is an institute which is affiliated with the Iranian Academy of Arts and is located on Mozaffar St., off Taleqani Ave. near Felestin square.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Mungu Theater Troupe led by Iranian director Homayun Ghanizadeh is scheduled to perform the renowned Absurdist play “Waiting for Godot” at Tehran’s City Theater Complex in late September.
     
    This is the first time that a play by Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett has been selected to be staged at the main hall of the complex, the complex announced in a press release on Sunday.
     
    Beckett is one of key writers in the Theatre of the Absurd. 
     
    “Waiting for Godot” is about two tramps that are waiting by a sickly looking tree for the arrival of Godot. 
     
    Godot does not come and the two tramps resume their vigil by the tree, which between the first and second day has sprouted a few leaves, the only symbol of a possible order in a thoroughly alienated world.
     
    SB/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- “Herakles 5” written by the German dramatist Heiner Müller is scheduled to go on stage at the Iranshahr Theater Complex in January 2014.
     
    The play will be directed by Nasser Hosseini-Mehr, who performed Müller’s “Hamletmachine” in Tehran three years ago.
     
    Müller wrote the play in 1966 based on “Herakles” written by the ancient Greek dramatist Euripides (C. 480-406 BC). 
     
    “Herakles” is an Athenian tragedy that was first performed c. 416 BC. While Herakles is in the underworld obtaining the three-headed dog Cerberus for one of his labors, his father Amphitryon, wife Megara, and children are sentenced to death in Thebes by Lycus.
     
    Herakles arrives in time to save them, though the goddesses Iris and Madness (personified) cause him to kill his wife and children in a frenzy. 
     
    Müller (1929–1995) was a German dramatist, poet, writer, essayist and theater director. Described as “the theatre’s greatest living poet” since Samuel Beckett, Müller is arguably the most important German dramatist of the 20th century after Bertolt Brecht.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A Persian translation of Michael Morpurgo’s bestselling book “War Horse” has been put on offer at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair.

     
    The book, which is about a horse’s experience in the deadly chaos of the First World War, has been published by Ofoq and Parvin Alipur has rendered it into Persian.
     
    “War Horse” tells the story of Joey, a young farm horse, which is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front in 1914. 
     
    With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind.
     
    The book was runner-up at the 1982 Whitbread Book Awards, one of the UK’s most prestigious and popular literary prizes that were presented to writers based in the UK and Ireland until 1986.
     
    Steven Spielberg made a film adaptation of the novel in 2011. The film received six nominations at the Academy Awards in 2012.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Stars of the plays “Woyzeck” and “Macbeth” have won the best actor and actress awards at the 10th Iranian Stage Actors Celebration (ISAC).

     
    The best actress award was given to Pantea Panahiha for her role in “Woyzeck”, a play based on a family drama by German writer Georg Büchner, during the gala at Tehran’s City Theater Complex on Saturday.
     
    Babak Hamidian received the best actor award for his roles in the plays “Woyzeck” and “Macbeth”, both of which were directed by Reza Servati.
     
    A group of stage veterans including Shahla Riahi, Davud Rashidi, Jamshid Mashayekhi, Masud Rayegan, Roya Teimurian, and Akbar Zanjanpur attended the celebration.
     
    Actor Esmaeil Shangaleh from Tehran; writer, director and actor Mansur Hamidi from Tabriz; and actress Salimeh Rangzan from Khuzestan were honored for their lifetime achievements during the celebration.
     
    “I began my career on stage 42 years ago, and fortunately, it is ending well for me. I made my debut in Khosrow Sinaii’s movie ‘Bride of Fire’. Nobody knew me before that but I am happy to be appearing today,” Rangzan said in her acceptance speech.
     
    The celebration was brought to an end honoring the cast members of Reza Servati’s “Wonder of Creatures”, which went on stage last year.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Four Iranian animated films will go on screen at the 7th River Film Festival, which will be held in Porta Portello Padua, Italy from May 28 to June 9.
     
    “Sleepy”, “Ghargha”, “Palms” and “The Platform” are the films, which will go on screen during the event.
     
    “Sleepy” by Hassan Khorasani and “Ghargha” by Zeynab Qorbani will be screened at the extreme short films section of the festival on June 3.
     
    The five-minute “Sleepy” is about a sleepy old man who leads a Caravan.
     
    “Ghargha” is a four-minute animation about a little crow who understands that all of his friends have collected some gold pieces for themselves however he does not have one. While searching for gold pieces, he comes across the golden Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad. 
     
    “Palms” by Mohammad-Ali Hashemzehi will compete at the documentary section of the festival on June 5. 
     
    The documentary is about an old man and his wife who do not have any children however they take care of their palm trees as if they are their children. 
     
    Directed by Amir Mohammadzadeh and Salman Khorshidi, “The Platform” is another Iranian entry, which will go on screen at the animation section of the gala.  
     
    The animation portrays the fate of Iranian engineers and workers who were working on the oil platforms, in 2025, when Iran no longer has any oil to export.
     
    Shorts and documentaries from all over the world will compete for awards at the 7th edition of the River Film Festival. Local cinema and Extreme shorts are the new sections, which are added to this edition of the festival.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – Copies of “Thirty Years”, a pictorial book on the history of Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, has been offered for sale at the ongoing 26th Tehran International Book Fair.
     
    Published by the Oj Artistic Media Organization, the book contains about 1400 photos annotated with Persian-English captions. The photos were taken by over 300 photographers between 1979 and 2008.
     
    A team of experts spent five years gathering the photos from the archives of news agencies, periodicals and personal archives of photographers.
     
    “Photos of the Islamic Revolution, the (1980-1988) Iran-Iraq war, and the liberation of Khorramshahr are some of the events, which have been registered in the book,” Reza Taherkhani, one of the members of the policy-making council of the book, told the Persian service of Fars News Agency on Monday.
     
    The Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense Society made great efforts in selecting the photos, he added.
     
    Taherkhani also said that the book depicts political, social and cultural events in Iran over the three decades and contains a collection of rarely seen photos.
     
    The book is also available in two small and large sizes, and the photos contain short descriptions of some events.
     
    “Thirty Years” is offered at the Sarir Publications Pavilion at the book fair with 50% discount.
     
    The book fair is underway at Imam Khomeini Mosalla until May 11. 
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A version of the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), the celebrated work of the epic Persian poet Ferdowsi, is the most expensive book on offer at the 26th Tehran International Book Fair.
     
    The book is on sale at a price of 16,500,000 rials (over $460), the Persian service of ISNA reported on Sunday.
     
    Published by Yassavoli, the version has been written in nastaliq calligraphy by Ali Sajjadi and 50 miniature paintings drawn by some Safavid era artists illustrate the story of the book.
     
    The book has also been embellished with illuminations by Alireza Aqamiri, one of the few living masters of this Persian art form. In addition, the leather covering of the book has been decorated with gold blocking.
     
    An edition of the Holy Quran written in Reyhan calligraphy by Bahram Saleki is the second most expensive offered at the book fair.
     
    The book has been offered at 15,000,000 rials (over $420). However, there is a 20 percent discount on this book.
     
    An edition of the Divan of Hafez at price of 12,000,000 (over $330) and an edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam at price of 11,500,000 (over $320) are the third and fourth most expensive books at the book fair.
     
    There has been a sharp rise in paper and printing prices in Iran over the past two years. Thus, the high prices at which these publications are being offered reflect the extreme cost increases.
     
    Due to the problems many Iranians face with their family budgets nowadays, they are not able to afford the high prices for the publications.
     
    An Iranian writer has said that high cost of living and the unstable economic conditions has caused a drop in the number of visitors to the book fair and as well as in the amount of their shopping at the cultural event.
     
    “I have visited the book fair several times,” Mohammadreza Bairami told the Persian service of MNA on Sunday.
     
    “The number of people visiting the book fair is not comparable with the figures for the previous editions of the event. The people come and leave without shopping,” he added.
     
    Organizers announced on Sunday that over one million people have visited the book fair since May 1, when the fair opened to public.
     
    “In these conditions, in which the people must spend virtually all of their income just to stay alive, of course it is pointless to be concerned about their interest in reading books. In the current situation, it is ridiculous if we want to pretend that people are bibliophiles,” Bairami stated.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iran’s Visual Media Institute (VMI) in collaboration with the American-Canadian company Reel Knights Productions are producing the movie “Airbus”; a movie about the Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655), which was shot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988.

     
    The airbus was shot down by the Vincennes on the Bandar Abbas-Dubai route, resulting in the loss of  290 lives of innocent civilians from six nations including 66 children. There were 38 non-Iranians aboard.
     
    American filmmaker Paxton Winters and Iranian director of “The Messiah” Nader Talebzadeh are co-directors of the film, VMI reported in a press release on Monday.
     
    American actor Val Edward Kilmer and actor and documentary filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winner director Oliver Stone, are starring in this movie along with several Iranian actors. 
     
    The screenplay is written by the U.S. documentarian and telefilm producer Scott J.T. Frank and Iranian actress and screenwriter Mina Masumi.
     
    Part of the film is due to be filmed in the United States.
     
    Reel Knights is a film and television development and production studio that uses motion pictures to pass on mystical wisdom through ancient story telling about archetypal subjects. The company is bridging stories from the East with skills of the West to produce feature films with universal appeal.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid a surprise visit on Monday to Abolfazl Purarab, the superstar of Iranian cinema in 1990’s. Purarab has been suffering from lung cancer over the past few years.
     
    Ahmadinejad visited Purarab in his father’s house in the southern district of Tehran and asked about his health and the process of his treatment, the Presidential Office website announced in a press release on Monday evening.
     
    The President wished the actor good health and Purarab talked about his years of acting and his pleasant memories.
     
    The mother of the actor, who was delighted to see the President in her home, said that she believes the visit will help keep his son’s spirits up. She next handed a copy of the Holy Quran to Ahmadinejad.
     
    Purarab rose to fame by acting in Behruz Afkhami’s hit “Bride” in 1990.  He then appeared in many movies by famous filmmakers including “Narges” (Rakhshan Bani-Etemad), “Sting” (Homayun As’adian) and “Portrait” (Sirus Alvand) .
     
    He has also played in several TV serials such as “The Passenger” by Sirus Moqaddam and “Basement” by Alireza Afkhami.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN –Tehran is hosting a two-day meeting of ACD (Asia Cooperation Dialogue) culture ministers and high ranking officials, the first session of which began on Tuesday.
     
    Representatives from 32 countries are attending the meeting, which has been arranged to study ways for better cooperation in different cultural fields, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Tuesday.
     
    The meeting was inaugurated with an opening speech by Iran Cinema Organization Director Javad Shamaqdari followed by a short report on ACD recent developments delivered by the Thai delegation, which is the main coordinator.
     
    Cooperation in cinema, media, publication, culture and anthropology were some of the topics discussed on the first day.
     
    The participating guests are due to offer their new propositions on better collaboration of ACD member states on the second day of the meeting. 
     
    The ACD member states include Iran, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, The Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, , India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Russia, Kazakhstan and Bahrain.
     
    Tehran hosted the ACD Ministerial Meeting in 2010.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Arasbaran Cultural Center will screen two short thriller films from South Korea this evening.
     
    “Hide and Seek” by Huh Jung and “Lizard Girl” by Choi Si-young will go on screen at the center.
     
    “Hide and Seek” is the story of a man with a guilty conscience who visits his brother’s place when he’s reported missing. 
     
    “Lizard Girl” is about a father who persuades his two daughters to commit suicide by eating pills since he believes that a beast is coming after them.
     
    However one of the girls throws up the pill and survives to confront with the beast.
     
    The center is located on Arasbaran St., in the Seyyed Khandan neighborhood.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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