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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian experts on cultural heritage held workshops for a delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities last week, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) announced.
    The workshops were organized based on an agreement between the CHTHO and the Iraqi ministry to train the delegation in preservation and restoration of artifacts and historical monuments, CHTHO Deputy Director Mohammad-Hassan Talebian said in a press release last Wednesday.
    “Due to its rich cultural heritage and experts’ high capacity for education, Iran is able to hold courses for scholars from the countries of the region, especially from those nations having a cultural affinity with Iran,” he added.
    The delegation arrived in Tehran last Sunday. It has visited a number of Iranian historical sites including Golestan and Sadabad historical complexes in Tehran, the Fin Garden in Kashan, and Jame’ Mosque and the Chehel-Sotun in Isfahan.
    The group is scheduled to meet Talebian today in Tehran. 

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    TEHRAN – The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) plans to produce a documentary series to improve Afghanistan’s image in Iran.
    In a press release published on Thursday, director Mohammad-Hossein said that the series entitled “Hello Afghanistan” will focus on Afghanistan’s cultural achievements and luminaries.
    “The series is aimed at improving Afghans’ image in Iranian society,” he added.
    “Afghans have been depicted as simple workers, gatekeepers or even thieves in some Iranian TV series. However, we plan to feature prominent Afghan poets, physicians and businessmen in this serial,” he added.
    Jafarian served as Iran’s cultural attaché in Afghanistan for several years. He wrote several book and articles about the country including “In the Capital of Forgetting”, which was released by Sureh-Mehr Publications in 2012.
    He previously made a documentary about the Afghan political and military leader Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953–2001) entitled “Unfinished Epic: The Lion of Panjshir Valley”. 

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    TEHRAN – Rome’s Antropomorpha Photo Studio is displaying a collection of photos by the Italian photographer Claudia Borgia on the rituals of Ashura in an exhibition, which opened last Sunday.

    Borgia journeyed across Iran and Iraq during the mourning season of Muharram in 2012 and 2013 to take the pictures for her collection entitled “Ashura”. 
    She captured over 5000 photos of people attending the mourning ceremonies in Kashan, Nushabad, Tehran and some other Iranian cities.
    The mourning rituals are organized annually by Shia Muslims during the first ten days of the lunar month of Muharram each year to commemorate Imam Hussian (AS) and his companions.  
    Imam Hussein (AS) rose up against the tyranny of the Umayyad dynasty in 680, resulting in the Imam and his companions being martyred on Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram.
    The exhibit, which runs until May 28, also provides a brief history about Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar year Muharram on which Imam Hussein and his companions were martyred in 680.

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    TEHRAN -- The impressions of 100 Iranian historical seals are currently on display in an exhibition at Tehran’s Malek Museum and Library.

    The impressions of the seals, which belonged to royals and officials from the Seljuk (11th-13th century), Timurid (15th–16th century), Safavid (16th-18th century) and Qajar (18th-20th century) dynasties, have been copied from documents kept in a storehouse at the museum and library.
    One of the seals belonged to the personal library of Farhad Mirza, son of Abbas Mirza who was a Qajar crown prince.
    Another highlight of the exhibition is a seal that was owned by Ummeh Salameh, a daughter of Qajar king Fat’h-Ali Shah.
    A collection of calligraphy works by the princess have also been showcased on the sidelines of the exhibition, which runs until June 21.
    Located at the Mashq Square, which is home to several Qajar era monuments in downtown Tehran, the Malek Museum and Library was inaugurated in 1927.
    The library of the complex contains 19,000 rare manuscripts and 90,000 printed volumes. 

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  • 05/17/14--08:15: Art news in brief
  • “Robinson and Crusoe” to go on stage in Tehran
    TEHRAN -- The Cologne-based Iranian director and playwright Alireza Kushk-Jalali will perform “Robinson and Crusoe” at the Mehr Hall of Tehran’s Art Bureau on Sunday and Monday.
    Written by the Italian dramatists Nino D’Introna and Giacomo Ravicchio, the play is about two soldiers from different countries who are stranded together on a reef surrounded by nothing but a vast ocean, and the friendship that develops between them.
    Polish short stories appear in Persian 
    TEHRAN – A collection of six short stories by famous Polish writers has recently been published in Persian by Mahi Publications under the name “Heavenly Lady”.
    Translated by Roshan Vaziri, the stories have been selected from the books by Polish authors Genrik Senkevich, Tadeusz Borowski, Gustaw Herling-Grudzinsk, Witold Zalewski and Ksawery Pruszynski.
    Jeffrey Archer’s “Thereby Hangs a Tale” published in Persian
    TEHRAN – British author and former politician Jeffrey Archer’s “Thereby Hangs a Tale” has recently been published in Persian by Neyestan Publications.
    The book was translated into Persian by Ali Famian contains fifteen short stories, some of which are the tales Archer gathered on travels over the past six years or so.

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    TEHRAN -- A book on the ancient and historical Iranian sites which have been registered on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage List has recently been published in Iran.

    Authored by Farzin Rezaian, “Discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran” has been published by the Gooya House of Culture and Art, a major Iranian publisher of art books. 
    The Persian-English book was unveiled during a ceremony at Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Center on Friday evening.
    Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Deputy Director Mohammad-Hassan Talebian, Iranian National Commission for UNESCO Director Mohammadreza Saeidabadi, Tehran City Council Chairman Ahmad Masjed-Jamei, and a number of cultural figures attended the ceremony.
    In the preface UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova wrote for the book, she congratulated the author and publisher for creating it. 
    Sixteen Iranian ancient and historical sites have been registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
    The Chogha Zanbil ziggurat in Khuzestan Province, Persepolis in Fars Province and Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan Province were the first Iranian sites registered on the list in 1979.
    The Golestan Palace complex, one of the oldest groups of buildings in downtown Tehran, was Iran’s latest site added to the list in 2013.

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  • 05/17/14--08:08: Iranian maestros honored
  • TEHRAN – Tar virtuoso Hushang Zarif, tonbak virtuoso Mohammad Esmaeili and santur player Saeid Sabet were honored during a ceremony at Tehran’s Arasbaran Cultural Center on Friday.

    The center organized the ceremony to recognize the lifetime achievements of the musicians and the efforts they have made in music education.
    Iran’s National Orchestra conductor Farhad Fakhreddini, ney virtuoso Hasan Nahid and master of kamancheh Mohammad Moqaddasi were among those who attended the ceremony.
    The ceremony began with a tribute paid to the recently-deceased master of tar Mohmmadreza Lotfi and continued with live music performances by students of the three masters.
    Moqaddasi next made a brief speech and expressed his happiness to be near his master Fakhreddini, “He was my first teacher in the world of music, the one who taught me the lesson of morality.”
    The three masters next received their awards along with a number of bouquets of flowers, which they threw back to the audience to show their appreciation.

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    TEHRAN – Paintings by the Iranian artist Habib Farajabadi will go on display during an exhibition at the Mottahedan Projects (MP) gallery in Dubai from May 19 to June 30.

    Twenty abstract works created with acrylic paints, color pencil and pastel have been selected for the exhibit.
    “My works are a reflection of my personal feelings. The collection doesn’t convey any social or political message,” Farajabadi told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.
    He said that he plans to hold an exhibit during October in Iran.
    The Mottahedan Projects (MP) is a commercial project space specializing in exhibiting and promoting international contemporary art.

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  • 05/18/14--08:39: Art news in brief
  • “Angels Descend Together” to compete in Shanghai festival                         
    TEHRAN -- Iranian director Hamed Mohammadi’s “Angels Descend Together” will go on screen at the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival, which will be held from June 14 to 22.
    The film is about the difficulties of a couple who are confronted with the birth of triplets.
    The festival is also scheduled to screen Iranian director Maziar Miri’s the family drama “The Painting Pool”.
    Dutch actress to appear on stage in Iran’s “Pink Footprints”
    TEHRAN -- The Dutch actress Marene Miller will appear in “Pink Footprints”, an Iranian play that will be directed by Arvand Dashtaray in Tehran next week.
    The play will premiere at the Nazerzadeh Kermani Hall of the Iranian Artists Forum on May 25.
    Setareh Pesyani, Ramin Sayyar Dashti, Farzin Mohaddes, Kazem Sayyahi and Dariush Movaffagh are other members of the cast for the play, which was written by Ehsan Gudarzi.

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    TEHRAN -- The Ontario Royal Museum in Canada will be playing host to a festival of music and film entitled “Iranian Heritage Weekend on May 24 and 25.
    A lineup of Iranian films will go on screen and several concerts and cultural program will be held during the festival.
    Twenty-four short and mid-length films previously screened at the Toronto’s Eastern Breeze International Film Festival in October 2013 will be shown during the cultural celebration.
    Among the film are “A Bitter Untitled” directed by Sara Eyvazkhani, “Human Being” by Mashallah Mohammadi, “Help” by Mahnaz Yazdani, “The Theft” by Mohammad Farahani and “Return” by Alireza Oliazadeh.
    A group composed of the Eastern Breeze organizers that included Puyan Tabatabaii, Sasan Baqerpur, Farhad Ahi, Mostafa Azizi and Kayhan Mortazavi selected the films.
    The Iranian Heritage Weekend has been organized jointly by the Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto Iranians Community Group.

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    TEHRAN -- Vocalist Alireza Qorbani has invited President Hassan Rouhani and the members of the cabinet to attend his charity concert, which will take place next week.
    “I believe the President and his cabinet can support these types of cultural activities and show they support all the significant and valuable activities,” Qorbani told the Persian service of MNA on Sunday.
    Qorbani will be giving his concerts in Milad Tower on May 23 and 27 to raise funds for the Children’s Foundation, a charity organization which helps and supports students who are deprived of education.
    Entitled “A Dream of Flight”, composer Ali-Asghar Arabshahi will be collaborating in this concert.

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    TEHRAN – The 8th edition of Fajr International Poetry Festival was inaugurated at Tehran’s Arasbaran Cultural Center on Saturday.
    A number of Iranian poets including Ali Musavi Garmarudi, Khosro Ehteshami, Fazel Nazari, Behzad Zarrinpur and Heshmat Mansuri recited their selections of poetry on the first day of the festival, Persian media reported on Sunday.
    Eminent Indian poet, translator and Sanskrit scholar Rati Saxena was also among the participants who recited her poetry on the first day.
    In addition, poet Abbas Kaymanesh, known as Moshfeq Kashani, and famous for his poetry on the Islamic Revolution, recited his poetry.
    Ali Al-Shalah from Iraq was next to recite his poetry on the first day.
    A live music performance was also included among the programs. 
    The festival will continue until May 21 in Arasbaran Cultural Center located in the Seyyed Khandan neighborhood.

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    TEHRAN – A number of Iranian artists and academics were honored by President Hassan Rouhani at the presidential office on Sunday.

    At a joint ceremony held for the 2nd National Avini Awards and the 3rd Allameh Tabatabaii Awards, nine artists in the fields of music, cinema, theater, and visual arts received National Avini Awards for their lifetime achievements, and nineteen academics received Allameh Tabatabaii Awards.
    Composer and stringed instrumentalist Hossein Alizadeh, film director Mohammadreza Aslani, actor Esmaeil Khalaj, animator Abdollah Alimorad, sculptor Taher Shiekholhokamaii, calligrapher Ali Rahjiri,  calligraphic painter Mostafa Akhavan, master sculptor Mohammad-Mehdi Anushfar, and architect Iraj Kalantari were presented National Avini Awards.
    In addition, Seyyed Kazem Alavipanah, Mohammad-Ali Azarshab, Mohammad Dor-Ali, Abdorreza Simchi, Hossein Maleki, and several other academics and university professors received Allameh Tabatabaii Awards.
    The National Elites Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance hold the awards ceremonies each year in collaboration with the presidential office.
    The artists are selected by a group of experts in various fields.  
    In an address at the ceremony, President Rouhani said, “In the developed countries, elites from every nationality or race are recruited… but unfortunately, under the current conditions, we are not able bring in our elites to properly utilize them.”
    He lamented the fact that the previous official policies turned away talented people, and said, “We should respect our elites and all the scholars in the world who are interested in our country and want to live in Iran, even for a short term.”
    He said that the governmental organizations should try to collaborate with them and use their experience to resolve the country’s problems.    

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    TEHRAN -- The Persian literary monthly Bokhara paid tribute to German Iranologist Heidemarie Koch, author of “Persepolis, Shiny Capital of the Persian Empire”, during a ceremony at the Mahmud Afshar Foundation in Tehran on Thursday.

    Archaeologist Guntram Koch, Heidemarie’s husband, Bokhara director Ali Dehbahsi, and several Iranian scholars, including Hekmatollah Mollasalehi and Jaleh Amuzgar, attended the ceremony, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday.
    Speaking at the ceremony, Heidemarie Koch, a professor of Iranian Studies at the University of Marburg, talked about her interest in archaeology and the history of Iran.
    She said that she was a teacher of mathematics but became familiar with archeology when she married Guntram, who was studying archaeology at university.
    Her interest in archaeology led her to study in that field and then she learned Persian and began her studies about Iran.
    “It took a long time for me to travel to Iran and see Persepolis. When I was asked if what I saw was like what I read about Iran, I was happy to say yes. I visited Persepolis several times afterwards but still I like it,” she added.
    Guntram Koch said his interest in archaeology and the history of the Achaemenids date back to his school days.
    He added that he and his wife are thinking of publishing a magazine to present the images and information they have collected about the Achaemenid era from various countries, such has Turkey, Tajikistan, and Lebanon.
    In his short speech, Mollasalehi said he regards Heidemarie Koch as a true researcher with a mind that is able to analyze a world that no longer exists.
    Dehbashi read out a statement by Carlo Cereti, a professor of Iranian studies at the University of Rome, written in honor of Heidemarie Koch.

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  • 05/31/14--09:07: ECI, Alhoda to sign MOU
  • TEHRAN - Iran’s Alhoda International Publications plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) Cultural Institute (ECI) in the future.
    The draft for the MOU was discussed by Alhoda Director Hamidreza Shahabadi and ECI President Iftikhar Hussain Arif during a meeting in Tehran on Thursday, the publisher announced in a press release on Saturday.
    They also talked about joint plans for publishing books for children, translating books written by authors from ECO member countries and holding book fairs.
    The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. 
    Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey are the member countries of the ECO.

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    TEHRAN -- The Persian Gulf island of Hormoz will be hosting the Global Nomadic Art Project (GNAP) initiated by the Korean Nature Art Association, YATOO in 2015.
    YATOO has planned a traveling project, the first of which was held in Korea this April and Mahmud Maktabi from Iran took part, Nadalian told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.
    During his stay, Maktabi introduced Hormoz Island and spoke briefly about other Iranian land artists, said Nadalain, adding that he hoped the project in Hormoz would be a successful program.
    The GNAP projects are planned to be held in 2015 in Iran, 2016 in Africa and Middle East, 2017 in Europe, and 2018 in America.
    The exact time has not been specified yet, however, it could range from April to July in any year from 2015 to 2018. 
    The project consists of three parts including “Outdoor Nature Art Workshops”, “Indoor Nature Art Exhibitions”, and publication of images and books about the project.
    Nadalian has established the Persian Gulf Land Artists House on Hormoz Island where he holds land art festivals and displays works by local artists.
    The house is affiliated with Pardis, a center Nadalian established in Polur in northern Iran several years ago for the creation and exhibition of art in nature.

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    TEHRAN – The 3rd Tehran Auction sold out all the 90 lots on offer during its annual sale at the Parsian Azadi Hotel on Friday evening, grossing over 132 billion rials (over $4 million).

    Sohrab Sepehri’s untitled painting from his Tree Trunk series sold for 18 billion rials (about $550,000), setting a new auction record for an Iranian painting, the Tehran Auction reported on Saturday.
    Another work by Sepehri, a 90x130 centimeter abstract painting, sold for 16 billion rials (over $485,000), fetching the second highest price at the auction.
    Reza Derakhshani’s artwork “Hunting the Blue Sky” sold for 6 billion rials (over $180,000), three times the estimated price, making it the third highest selling lot at this year’s auction.
    Other highlights of the sale included a calligraphy painting by Mohammad Ehsaii and a two-piece painting by Aidin Aghdashlu.
    A calligraphy painting by Nasrollah Afjeii and paintings by Kurosh Shishegaran, Parviz Kalantari, Farideh Lashaii, and Masud Arabshahi were also sold.
    Tehran Auction Director Alireza Sami-Azar, who established the auction house in June 2012 to promote the economy of art in the country, said that the sale was beyond his expectations, which shows Iranians’ interest in art, and the creativity of the country’s artists.
    He added that the auction is a group activity supported by the owners of art galleries.
    Deputy Culture Minister for Artistic Affairs Ali Moradkhani, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Director Majid Mollanoruzi, and a number of other cultural figures attended the event.

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    TEHRAN -- The celebrated Iranian actor/director/writer Peyman Moadi has been selected for the international jury of the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival, announced the organizers.

    The Chinese actress Gong Li will preside over the jury, which is composed of Korean director and screenwriter Im Sangsoo, Japanese director Shunji Iwai, Chinese director Liu Jie, British director Sally Potter and Danish director Lone Scherfig.
    Moadi, 43, started his film career as a screenwriter in late 2000s and has written the screenplays for several famous Iranian films. He started his acting career in Asghar Farhadi’s “About Elly” (2009). 
    Two years later, he received a Silver Bear award for Best Actor in Leading Role for his performance as Nader in Farhadi’s “A Seperation” (2011) from the Berlin International Film Festival. “Snow on the Pines” (2013) was his debut fiction as a director.
    The Iranian movies “Angels Descend Together” by Hamed Mohammadi, the family drama “The Painting Pool” by Maziar Miri and “Snow” by Mehdi Rahmani are among the festival’s lineup.
    The festival will be held from June 14 to 22.

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    TEHRAN – Copies of the Portuguese version of “The Ice that Falls in Love with the Sun” by the Iranian children’s writer Reza Mozuni will be distributed among Brazilian children during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
    The Iranian football team and members of some Iranian organizations attending the event plan to present copies of the book as a message of friendship from Iranian children to Brazilian children, the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), which is the publisher of the book, announced in a press release on Sunday. 
    The Oriental Cultural Foundation (Fundación Cultural Oriente) in Qom has translated the book into Portuguese.
    The back cover of the book carries a message that reads: “My dear friend! I know what you are thinking about. I also think of you and of the sun that smiles upon the world from the middle of the sky. Since we are too far from each other to take each others’ hands, let’s think of each other often.”
    The book narrates the story of an ice block, which falls in love with the sun when the spring comes. However, it melts and is transformed into a beautiful little flower by the sunshine.
    Iran’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Football Federation is sponsoring the project.
    The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil.

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  • 06/01/14--08:51: Art news in brief
  • “The Silent Angel” appears in Persian
    TEHRAN – A Persian translation of German author Heinrich Boll’s “The Silent Angel” has been published by Nun Publications in Iran.
    The book was translated into Persian by Saeid Farhudi.
    “The Silent Angel” is about Hans Schnitzler, a German soldier who returns to a bombed German city just days after the end of World War II, carrying a dead comrade’s coat to his widow--unaware that the coat contains a will. 
    “Communist of Montmartre” hits Iranian bookstores
    TEHRAN – A Persian translation of German author Michael Kleeberg’s “The Communist of Montmartre and Other Stories” has been published by Peidayesh Publications in Iran.
    The book was translated into Persian by Maryam Moayyedpur.

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