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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- A collection of ancient Iranian artifacts, which had been recovered in foreign auctions, was showcased on Thursday in an exhibition at the National Museum of Iran.

     
    The collection comprises 50 Achaemenid tablets, bronze artifacts from the Lorestan regions, and some stone relics from the Jiroft civilization.
     
    The Achaemenid tablets are part of tens of thousands of tablets and tablet fragments that were loaned to the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute in 1937 for study.
     
    The artifacts bear cuneiform script explaining administrative details of the Achaemenid Empire from about 500 BC during the reigns of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I.
     
    A group of 179 complete tablets was returned in 1948, and another group of more than 37,000 tablet fragments was returned in 1951.
     
    In spring 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Blanche Manning ruled that a group of people injured by a 1997 bombing in Israel could seize 300 tablets of the group loaned to the University of Chicago and the university cannot protect Iran’s ownership rights to the artifacts.
     
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected confiscation of the tablets in March 2011. However it ruled that the case should be returned to the lower court for further argument.
     
    The 5000-year-old Jiroft collection was returned to Iran in November 2011. In 2005, 18 artifacts smuggled from the ancient site of Jiroft in southern Iran were to be sold at London’s Barakat Gallery.
     
    Iran sued the gallery in an attempt to recover the collection. In March 2007, London’s High Court had rejected Iran’s ownership of the artifacts, but Iran appealed the court’s decision in May.
     
    The London appellate court ruled in December 2007 that the gallery must return the artifacts. The gallery then lodged an appeal against the appellate court’s ruling.
     
    Iran announced in November 2011 that it won the appeal in court.
     
    Running until May 31, the exhibition also has bronze artifacts dating back the 1st millennium BC from the southwestern Iranian province of Lorestan on display.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian comedy actor and director Reza Attaran is currently making a documentary on fringe issues at the Cannes Film Festival.
     
    Shooting of the film entitled “Red Carpet” began at Cannes on Friday, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday.
     
    Some parts of the movie will be shot on location in Monte Carlo.
     
    Stage and costume design Keivan Moqaddam, make-up artist Mohsen Babaii and cinematographer Ahmad Ahmadi are among the Iranian crew members. Several foreign members are also collaborating in this project.
     
    Attaran is famous for his roles in comedy. He has also directed several films and TV serials, also with a comic story line.
     
    RM/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN – The 8th Regional Music Festival will open today with senior musicians from different provinces in several halls across Tehran and Kerman. 
     
    Tehran’s Vahdat Hall will be hosting a group of Ahiqlar from Tabriz, East Azarbaijan, as well as a group from Kurdestan on the first day, the festival organizers reported in a press release on Saturday.
     
    An Ashiq, also spelled Ashik and Ashug, is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard, who blends together instrumental and vocal music, dance, poetry, and storytelling in his performances. The art of Ashiqlar or Ashiqs, mostly performed by men, is more common in Iran’s northwestern provinces.
     
    Donya Kamali will give a tanbur (tambura) solo performance and Hossein Valinejad will play dotar on the first day of the festival at the Art Bureau Hall.
     
    Rudaki Hall is also hosting musicians during the festival, which will close on May 21.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The 30th Tehran International Short Film Festival has so far received 1895 submissions from foreign filmmakers, the secretary of the festival announced on Saturday.
     
    Most of the submissions have been made by filmmakers from France, Brazil, Germany, England and Spain, Hashem Mirzakhani said in a press release.
     
    A sharp rise is expected in the number of submissions as the deadline for application is June 9, he added.  
     
    The Tehran International Short Film Festival, which is organized annually by the Iranian Young Cinema Society, will be held from October 14 to 20.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Mohammad-Hossein Latifi, the director of the acclaimed war drama “The Third Day”, has been assigned to make campaign films for Ali-Akbar Velayati, one of the major candidates in Iran’s forthcoming presidential election.

     
    The usual preliminaries have been prepared and Latifi is scheduled to make two 30-minute films for Velayati, the Persian news website Asr-Iran announced on Friday.
     
    The films will be aired by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Each candidate is allowed to prepare only two 30-minute films for the TV broadcast.
     
    The IRIB has recently begun broadcasting programs promoting people to take part in the presidential election, which will be held on June 14.
     
    In addition, Iranian television has started airing “The Culture of Election”, a 15-episode short educational animation series which has been produced by the Saba Animation Studio.
     
    The election campaign offices of other candidates are also seeking to hire directors to make their campaign films. 
     
    Parsine, a Persian news website, announced on Saturday that world-renowned Iranian director Asgar Farhadi was hired to make campaign films for Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the presidential election.
     
    However, the report was denied by Farhadi a few hours after publication.
     
    Farhadi is currently in France to promote “The Past”, his first movie that was shot outside of his homeland, at the Cannes Film Festival.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A group of thespians will read seven plays translated by Hamid Samandarian to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of the prominent Iranian stage director and playwright in July.
     
    The reading performances, which have been organized by the Iranian Theater Forum and the Iranian Artists Forum, will be held from July 12 to 19 at the Samandarian Hall of the Iranian Artists Forum.
     
    The veteran Iranian stage director and playwright Samandarian died of liver cancer at the age of 81 in Tehran on July 12, 2012.
     
    The name of plays and the directors will be announced in coming days, the member of the Iranian Theater Forum Afsaneh Mahian told the Persian service of ISNA.
     
    Samandarian translated several works by renowned English and German playwrights into Persian.
     
    He translated several works by Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt including “The Visit of the Lady”, “The Judge and His Hangman” and “The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi”.
     
    German dramatist Bertolt Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” and Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” are also among works that he translated.
     
    Samandarian taught several generations of Iranian directors, thespians, and dramatists who are currently among the big names in Iranian theater and cinema.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Iranian drama “Objects in a Mirror Are Closer than They Appear” will compete in the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival, which will be held from June 15 to 23.
     
    LifeMedia International, the German international distributer of the film, has submitted it to the Shanghai festival, producer Mohammad-Hossein Qasemi told the Persian service of FNA on Sunday.
     
    Directed by Narges Abyar, the movie is about a young pregnant woman and her husband who are the tenants of two elderly sisters.
     
    The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in East Asia. 
     
    SB/YAW
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    TEHRAN – The Iranian children’s literature expert Zohreh Qaini and illustrator Nushin Safakhu will elaborate upon their visit to the Nami Island International Illustration Concours in South Korea during a meeting at the Children’s Book Council of Iran in Tehran on May 22. 
     
    Qaini was a jury member and Safakhu won a Golden Island Award at the contest, which was held in April.
     
     
    Safakhu won the award for her illustration of Ferdowsi’s magnum opus Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
     
    An exhibition of the illustration of Shahnameh will also be set up on the side section, , the council announced in a press release on Sunday. 
     
    Several Iranian illustrators competed with illustrators from over 40 countries in this competition. Rashin Kheiriyeh and Nazli Tahvili were awarded with the Special Prize of the contest.
     
    Reza Dalvand received the Encouragement Prize. The Grand Prix was given to Sung-hee Kim from South Korea. 
     
    Qaini and several international illustrators, including Byung-ho Han (S. Korea), Yusof Ismail (Malaysia) and Roger Mello (Brazil), selected the best works of the illustration contest in February.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Seminars on spiritual travelogues in Persian literature and the literature of the West is scheduled to be held in Iran in September and in Italy in October.

     
    The seminars have been organized by Tehran’s Book City Institute, Italy’s Societa’ Dante Alighieri, and several other Iranian institutes and Iranian cultural centers, Book City Institute Deputy Director Ali-Asghar Mohammad-Khani said in press release on Sunday.
     
    Tehran will be the first host on September 10 and 11, and Rome and Florence will be hosting the event from October 24 to 26.
     
    Mohammad-Khani said that a team of Iranian and Italian scholars and experts will be invited the colloquium, which aims to provide a comparative study of spiritual travelogues written in Persian and those penned in the West.
     
    Societa’ Dante Alighieri Secretary General Alessandro Masi and his colleague Eugenio Vender, and Carlo Saccone, the Italian translator of Sanai’s “Seyr al-ebad”, are among the guests invited to the Tehran meeting.
     
    He added that “Seyr al-ebad elal-maad” (The Journey of the Faithful to the Place of Return) by Sanai (d. ca. 1130), Persian poet of the later Ghaznavid era, and the Mantiq at-Tayr (Conference of the Birds) by the Persian classical poet Farid ud-Din Attar (c. 1145-1221) are some of the examples from Persian literature.
     
    Spiritual travelogue is rooted in Iranian and Islamic culture, however, Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is a typical example of a travelogue in the world literature, he said.
     
    “The Divine Comedy” is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between c. 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The German-based Iranian musician Hamid Motebassem plans to travel to Tehran to repeat concerts he performed along with the Pardis Ensemble in London and Brussels last year.

     
    He is scheduled to bring together 35 musicians in an orchestra to perform the concert in early August, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Sunday.
     
    Members of his orchestra will be selected from among young musicians living in Iran.  
     
    Like the European concerts, vocalist Salar Aqili will accompany tar and setar virtuoso Motebassem during the performance.
     
    The orchestra will present eight songs, which Motebassem has composed to be performed by 35 Western and Iranian instruments.
     
    The songs were previously performed at London’s Cadogan Hall by the Pardis Ensemble on February 4 as well as at Brussels’ Wolubilis Theater on February 5, 2012.
     
    “This is the first time that I have employed this kind of orchestration in my compositions,” Motebassem said before the concert.
     
    “The idea of composing music to be played by Western and Iranian instruments has it origin in my interest in the Golha program, which presented works of Ali-Naqi Vaziri, Ruhollah Khaleqi, Hossein Dehlaviand, and several other veteran Iranian musicians,” he added.
     
    Golha, a TV program promoting Persian music, was produced and broadcast in Iran before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iran’s French attorney in the “Argo” case, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, says that the film was produced under a commission from the CIA.
     
    Speaking at a press conference in Tehran on Sunday, Coutant-Peyre said that a White House staffer named Barbara is ready to provide evidence that the CIA is behind the film.
     
    Coutant-Peyre was hired by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance since March this year to sue the “Argo” producers over the “anti-Iran” content of the film.
     
    The film is about the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
     
    Coutant-Peyre said that she is waiting for Iranian officials’ green light to pursue the case in a court in France.   
     
    Producer George Clooney, director Ben Affleck, and the chief officials of Warner Bros. will be summoned to appear in the court, she added.
     
    Iran could win the case a hundred percent, Coutant-Peyre noted and expressed her hope that the court would “symbolically” award the country compensation.
     
    “Argo” was officially viewed as an “anti-Iranian” film in Iran after it began its premiere in the U.S. in October of last year. 
     
    Following the film’s Oscar triumph on February 24,2013 Iranian officials retained Coutant-Peyre to file a lawsuit against the producers of the film.
     
    Coutant-Peyre is the lawyer and wife of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal, who was once among the world’s most wanted fugitives. Ramirez’s name has also been linked to a string of terrorist activities, and he was convicted of involvement in several bombings in France in the early 1980s that killed 11 and injured 150.  
     
    She also represented Zacarias Moussaoui early on during his imprisonment, while he was awaiting trial for his role in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The CEO of South Africa’s Islam Television, Farhad Omar, has left Tehran to return to his country with a package of films and TV series produced by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s (IRIB).
     
    The package was presented to him during a meeting with IRIB’s Center for International Affairs Director Mohammad Hosseini last week, IRIB reported in a press release on Monday.
     
    The package included “Shahriar”, Kamal Tabrizi’s biopic about the contemporary Persian poet Mohammad-Hossein Behjat Tabrizi (1906-1988).
     
    “Behind the Curtain of Fog” directed by Parviz Sheikh-Tadi, “Mangrove” by Mehdi Sabbaqzadeh, and “The Survivor” by Seifollah Daad, “Loneliness” and “The Stories and the Realities” both directed by Hojjat Qasemzadeh-Asl were also included.
     
    Omar arrived in Tehran on May 12 and discussed expansion of media collaboration with Iran. He also held talks with IRIB officials to help develop Islamic channels across Africa during his week-long stay.
     
    Islam Television (ITV) was launched in 2012 and its programs include a mix of Islamic-themed movies and lifestyle programs. It also covers news broadcasted by Iran’s English-language satellite news network Press TV.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Five foreign members of the panel for the 30th International Quran Competition have been appointed.
     
    The members are Ikmal Zaidi bin Hashim from Malaysia, Rizwan Darwish from Syria, Junaidin Idris from Indonesia, Adel Khalil Mahmoud from Lebanon, and Abdel Monem Ahmed Mohammad from Sudan, the State Endowment and Charity Affairs Organization announced on Monday.
     
    Five other foreign reciters of the Holy Quran and 9 Iranian members are also scheduled to join the jury. Iranian reciter Abdorrasul Abaii will preside over the panel.
     
    Hashem Soltan-Nejad and Vahid Vakili from Iran will compete in the memorization and recitation categories during the event, which will be held at the Summit Conference Hall in Tehran from June 1 to 7.
     
    A seminar on Quranic research has also been arranged on the side section of the event.
     
    Last year, Qasem Moqaddami received the first prize in the recitation category and Hossein Motamedi won the first prize in the memorization category.
     
    RM/YAW

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    TEHRAN -- An exhibition of Iranian handicrafts is currently underway in Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania.
     
    The event opened at the Center for Asian Studies of the Vytautas Magnus University on May 9.
     
    A collection of photos of Iranian tourist attractions has also been put on display on the sidelines of the exhibit, which runs until June 15.
     
    The exhibition has been organized by the Embassy of Iran in Warsaw, Poland.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- “Free Men”, the latest film by French-Moroccan director Ismaël Ferroukhi, will go on screen at three theaters in Tehran tomorrow.

     
    The film will replace Michael Haneke’s romance drama “Amour” at the Farhang Cinema Complex.
     
    The Mellat Cinema Complex and Milad Tower will also show the acclaimed movie.
     
    “Free Men” (Les Hommes Libres) tells the story of an Algerian immigrant who is inspired to join the resistance by his unexpected friendship with a Jewish man in Paris during World War II.
     
    Starring Tahar Rahim, Michael Lonsdale, and Mahmud Shalaby, the film premiered in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
     
    Ferroukhi won the best film director award for the film at the 30th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran in February 2012. It also brought producer Fabienne Vonier the best film award of the festival.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – The city of La Paz in Bolivia, central South America hosted an Iranian Film Week from May 16 to 22.
     
    A collection of Iranian movies went on screen during the event, which was organized by the Embassy of Iran in Bolivia and the Cinemateca Boliviana, the embassy reported in a press release on Tuesday.
     
    “The Song of Sparrows” directed by Majid Majidi, “So Close, So Far” by Reza Mirkarimi, “Hayat” by Gholamreza Ramezani, “Equation” by Ebrahim Vahidzadeh, “A Guesthouse in Snow” by Saeid Soltani and “The Ring” by Kazem Masumi went on screen during the event.
     
    The films were dubbed into Spanish and were warmly received by the people and social and cultural officials of the city. This was the second time Iran held a film week in Bolivia.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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  • 05/21/13--07:04: What’s in Art Galleries
  • Painting
     
    * The Shokuh Gallery will host an exhibition of paintings by Hossein Khoshraftar from May 24 to June 2.
     
    The gallery can be found at 19 Amir Nuri Alley, North Salimi St., Andarzgu Blvd.
     
    SB/HG
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A book teaching the Korean language to Iranian learners has recently been published by Amrud Publications in Tehran.

     
    “How to Learn the Korean Language” has been compiled by Korean teacher Choi In-hwa and Iranian scholar Maryam Tajeddini, Amrud Publications announced in a press release on Tuesday.
     
    The book contains a standard grammar and structure of the Korean language and provides the facility for Iranian learners to compare it with the rules of Persian grammar.
     
    Amrud has previously published “Chung, Hyo, Ye”, a collection of tales of filial devotion, loyalty, respect and benevolence taken from the history and folklore of Korea.
     
    An anthology of short poems by South Korean poet Ko Un has also been published by the publisher.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian director Khosro Masumi has been selected to join the jury of the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival, which will be held from June 15 to 23.

     
    British filmmaker Tom Hooper will preside over the jury, which also includes French critic Michel Ciment, German director Chris Kraus, Czech director Jiri Menzel, Chinese director Ning Hao and Chinese actress Yu Nun.
     
    Masumi’s family drama “Bear” won a Golden Goblet Award for best film at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival in 2012.
     
    His “Tradition of Lover Killing” had been crowned the best film at the festival in 2006.
     
    Masumi won the best director award of the 12th Pyongyang International Film Festival for “Wind Blows in the Meadow” in September 2010.
     
    “Somewhere Too Far” brought him the best director award at the 30th Cairo International Film Festival in 2006.
     
    Masumi’s credits also include “The Assignation”, “Leaden Times” and “Feather for Flight”. 
     
    The Iranian drama “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer than They Appear” by Narges Abyar will compete at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei offered his condolences over the death of poet and scholar Mohammad Qahraman.

     
    “With sorrow and a sigh, I was informed about the death of the great poet of Khorasan, Mr. Mohammad Qahraman,” the Leader said in his condolence message, which was published on Persian news agencies’ websites on Monday.
     
    “The shrinkage of this bountiful spring of profound poetry and pointed and striking ghazel grieves everybody who is concerned about contemporary literature,” he added.
     
    “I offer my condolences over the death of this kind lifelong friend to the literati community of the country and poets in Khorasan as well as to his respected wife and children, and I pray that God blesses him,” the Leader stated.
     
    Qahraman died of a form of cancer at home in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad on Saturday. He was 84.
     
    He was one of the outstanding followers of the Indian style of Persian poetry, which flourished after the 15th century. His works were published in several collections.
     
    He also reviewed a copy of the divan of Saib of Tabriz (1601-1677), one of the greatest masters of a form of classical Arabic and Persian lyric poetry characterized by rhymed couplets and known as the ghazel. The results of his studies on this collection were published in four volumes. 
     
    He was the founder of the Qahraman Literary Society, which was a circle of many prominent literati such as Mohammadreza Shafiei Kadkani.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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