In honor of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Week, a ceremony was held on Tuesday May 23, 2006 in the premises of Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics in Tehran. Among those present in the auditorium of the Research Center, one could see Dr. Saeed Taha Hashemi, the Vice President of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, the Head of the Research Center, a number of directors and consultants as well as other interested dignitaries.
The ceremony was opened with a speech by Dr. Rasoul Vatandoust, Head of the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics. After welcoming the guests, he mentioned that in honor of this important Week the RCCCR Website in English had started activity. The offering of information in English to the international community in the fields of restoration and conservation and having a site for communications between interested scholars and experts via Internet is a major step forward in establishing the RCCCR in the International Community.
The Jewish Quartet then performed several pieces composed by outstanding classic musicians. All the participants in this ceremony then visited the special workshops arranged for this event including: Conservation of Household Cultures, The Activities of the Conservation and Restoration of Paper Products, The posters about the activities of the Specialized Theatrical works and Traditional Inlay and Marquetry Work of Artists from Shiraz Province.
The Conservation of Household Cultures in the Cultural Heritage Week had the goal of offering households the awareness of better, efficient and proper preservation of household relics and traditions. The group in this section showed how to improve family and public awareness of their role in preservation of traditions and objects by increasing sensitivity of people for preservation and restoration of culture. Among the activities of this workshop was to show the proper ways for preserving old textiles and fabrics available in households.
The Paper Workshop showed proper ways for preservation and restoration of manuscripts. Techniques of work were shown in posters and Power Point presentation for the participants.
Dr. Rasool Vantandoust, Director of the Research Center of conservation of Cultural Relics has announced to Parse Newletter that the purpose of this Project is to reach a level where museums throughout the country will be safe, satisfactory from the conservation point and free of restoration needs.
This Project will begin this year with cooperation of Provincial and museum units in Iran. The data regarding the state of conservation of every objects will be collected and saved in a data bank. . Then based on processing of data the priorities will be assessed and accordingly actiona plans and activities defined and implemented. Then human resources, establishment of new museums and funneling of investments could planned. Dr Vatandoust mentioned that this major project will be implemented a national level with the help of universities, provincial and museum personnel.
He continued that this project was started in the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics some years ago but currently is to be expanded and developed on a national scale with plans to include university facilities. Dr Vatandoust added that a group of conservation and restoration experts will accompany archeological teams on excavation sites. He added that this plan is for better preservation of historical objects during and after excavation.
According to Dr. Vatandoust, these field groups are authorized to do emergency conservation and/or restoration works on sites, giving technical and detailed report to the relevant authorities for further conservation as is needed. For this purpose a department in the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics is assigned to harmonize work between Archeology Research Center and Historical Buildings and Urban Fabrics Center. Dr. Vatandoust emphasized that in addition to the help from experts from the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics, specialists from organizations and universities from all over the country will be employed. The budget for implementing the first phase of these two projects will approximately about 200 to 250 million tumans. These two projects encompass activities and will realize long term goals in conservation of cultural heritage in Iran.
Following the urgent excavations in the Chubtarash Site of Khoramabad in the Lorestan Province, a bronze coffin and a skeleton within it have come to light. The coffin is of bronze and made in one piece. Its dimensions are about that of a house-hold bath tub.
As a result of cave-in of rubble on this coffin, it has become divided into four large and a number of smaller pieces. At present a major part of the relic is covered with mud, soil and corrosive material. The metal structure of this piece is very weak. It shows distinct bronze illnesses.
Within the coffin, there is a human skeleton that has a gold mask covering its eyes and mouth. Considering the experience gain to date from other similar sties like the coffin from Arajaan, the following work will be done for this relic:
1. Study on the technology and damage to the coffin.
2. Urgent preservation needed due to the environmental change of the coffin.
3. Cleaning and removal of the soil on the coffin and if necessary removal of the corrosion on the coffin.
4. Stabilizing and strengthening of the coffin.
5. Stabilizing and strengthening of the skeletal remains.
6. Attaching the various pieces of the coffin to one another.
7. Designing and construction of an appropriate container for preserving the coffin.
At present samples have been taken to determine the metal structure, corrosion and in order to do the technological studies of these relics has been completed. At the same time computerized documentation of the relic has been done and is nearing finalization.
After completing the urgent activities for the preservation of the Fourth Natural Mummy of the Zanjan Salt Mine, a research was done for permanently preserving this unique historical object.
This work was begun by the Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics and the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Zanjan. Preparing a controllable, balanced atmosphere with adequate temperature, humidity and lighting on the one hand and on the other hand presenting this object for display, was the goal of the study.
The existence of various materials with different physical and chemical structures, such as human tissues, clothing made of wool and leather, pottery and an iron knife; makes this work more complex.
Except for the pottery which is very durable in most environmental conditions, the other materials are sensitive and vulnerable to pollutants and fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Among the more important elements considered was the expansion and contraction resulting from many and long-term changes in the immediate environment of the mummy and its belongings which can damage the dry tissues of the corpse and leather clothing.
Also it opens the way for biological factors to become active. Oxygen and humidity are import factors for corrosion of iron present in this group, that is, for the knife. The conclusion of the study and research and investigation of using an oxygen free environment (anoxy-nitrogen) along with consultation with experts in conservation, restoration and industrial design resulted in making a special case for the mummy that would satisfy the requirements.
After transferring this case from the Research Center to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Zanjan and is installed in the Zanjan Museum, the Fourth Salt Man of Zanjan will be better preserved and will be ready for display. Controlling and maintaining an optimum condition (temperature, lighting, humidity, pollutants, security systems, etc.) in the museum, the preservation of this relic will be better insured.
The historic site of Takht Soleiman that is also registered as World Cultural Heritage is located 42 kilometers northeast of the city of Takab in the Province of West Azerbaijan. Due to the presence of unique structures and the natural setting itself, this site is considered important in Iran. The peak of development of Takht Soleiman was during the reign of the Sassanid Dynasty when the largest religious and social facilities were constructed in the second half of the sixth century AD and are being excavated and recorded. During the Ilkhanid Period this site was a summer capital and several building were repaired and/or constructed for their use. This site after the 11th century Lunar Hedjri (17th Century AD was completely abandoned.
A general view of the Historic site of Takht Soleiman
Considering the extensive conservation work that is being carried out in this site, a comprehensive study on the material used in this location is necessary. This is important so that the material originally used can be identified before the modern materials needed for preservation can be chosen. In general this project has the following goals.
– Identification of special features of the material used in Takht Soleiman and specifying the quantity, quality and microscopic features of the materials.
– Using the results of identification of materials in technical preservation of structures on this site.
– Along with identification of materials, erosive and corrosive elements that affect the structures will also be identified and listed.