It’s time to rid Iran’s millennium-old brick tower of weeds

TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – It’s quite natural that weeds spread almost everywhere in a mild and humid climate; they grow, whether we like it or not.

Gardeners always keep an eye on weeds as they are competing with plants and lawn grass for water and nutrients, and making the garden less attractive. They are also springing up on the facades of buildings.

For years Iran’s UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus millennium-old brick tower is suffering from such a common phenomenon though it has been treated time to time.

The tower is of high architectural importance as an exemplar and innovative design of the early-Islamic-era architecture. The UNESCO comments that it bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.

Director of the World Heritage site told IRNA in an interview released on Monday that “Growing plants on the Qabus tower is not a new issue, and is witnessed in all brick buildings across the country, especially in northern provinces, due to their climatic conditions.”

“The tower has also been facing such phenomenon for more than a thousand years, though the issue has been intensified by [heavy] rainfalls earlier this year,” Abdolmajid Nourtaqani said.

The tower was already planned to be sprayed by agricultural drones to get rid of weeds and prevent them from growing, however, it was discarded after local authorities realized that such an approach inflicts serious damage to the mortar and body of the monument. 

Now it’s time to rid the brick tower of weeds for a long run at least for five to six years.

Financing has been done for installation of the scaffolding, Nourtaqani said, adding the weeds are planned to be removed in two different seasons to make sure they won’t appear at least for five to six years.

The official also mentioned that a restoration work will be followed, in which, cracks, nooks, and crannies of the outer bricks will be plastered.

Iran witnessed weeks of extreme rainfall, starting on March 19. It caused flooding in 28 out of 31 provinces affecting 42,269,129 inhabitants in 253 cities nationwide.

The UNESCO also credits Gonbad-e Qabus as “an outstanding and technologically innovative example of Islamic architecture that influenced sacral building in Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia.”

The long-lasting structure capped by an eye-catching conical roof boasts intricate geometric principles and patterns which embellishes parts of its load-bearing brickwork.

Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond.

Two encircling inscriptions in Kufic calligraphy date the tower to 1006-7 CE while commemorate Qabus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati (reigned 978–1012).

July 1 is considered a significant cultural event for Iranians to hold the anniversary of Gonbad-e Qabus UNESCO registration, and the annual celebration is organized by Gonbad Kavus municipality.

This year, people in Golestan province celebrated the 7th registration anniversary of Gonbad-e Qabus on UNESCO World Heritage list.

It is inevitable that open-air stone or brick works are facing physical decline over time, some of which impossible to eradicate. For instance, UNESCO-tagged Persepolis is suffering from increasing lichens for years.

Such issues should be well addressed by related officials and experts to meet their responsibility toward future generations.

MNA/TT

News Code 149702

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