Exhibition celebrates Italy and Iran's archeological work

(AGI) Rome, Jan 26 - Archeology and scientific research as a bridge between Ital...

(AGI) Rome, Jan 26 - Archeology and scientific research as a bridge between Italian and Persian civilization is the tale being told in an exhibition inaugurated on Tuesday at the Museum of Oriental Art in Rome during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rohani. The exhibition was promoted by the ISMEO (Italian Institute for the Middle East and Far East), the Cultural Institute of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the "Giuseppe Tucci" National Museum of Oriental Art. The exhibit, titled "Italian Archeological Research in Iran: Excavations and Restorations", traces the various activities of academics through hundreds of photographs, many of which have never been exhibited before. "Italian archaeologists have helped us to strengthen our awareness of being from Iran, a county with a rich history and ancient civilisation just like yours", said Hesamodin Ashna, cultural advisor to President Rohani, during the exhibition opening. The ISMEO vice president and scientific director, Adriano Rossi, spoke of the travels that ENI founder Enrico Mattei and the great Orientalist Giuseppe Tucci undertook at the end of the 1950s in Iran, which had by that point entered a phase of modernisation in its oil industry. "Iran's gratitude for egalitarianism that, for the first time in the world, Enrico Mattei proposed in developing oil revenue laid the foundation for a heightened Italian cultural presence in the country", said Rossi. Italian archeological excavations in Iran began in 1958-59 in Sistan, followed by a productive season of studies and restorations in Persepolis, Pasargadae and Esfahan. "The Italian idea of using Iranian technical abilities, Iranian materials, and the suggestions of Iranians on their own monuments produced such a powerful shared experience between the two great artistic traditions that it left material traces and Italo-Iranian schools of technology that still continue today and perfect the lessons of these masters", Mr Rossi added. There are many documents still to be explored, which constitute "the shared legacy of Iran, Italy and the world", said Mr Rossi. "The ISMEO recognises its duty to make all its own experiences and data available to international experts". Mr Ashna called for the scientific collaboration with Italian experts to continue, "because it is also a collaboration between two civilisations". He also expressed his hope that Iran can establish its own museum system with international support, "because not only oil-related projects are important". He added, "Our country needs a change of mindset regarding the conservation of antiquities and national heritage." Mr Ashna explained further that "they have too often been sacrificed in processes of urbanisation. We also need to develop technology, experience and awareness on restoration and conservation work", sectors in which Iran hopes to count on Italy's work. (AGI). .