Inept restoration spoils Portuguese castle on Qeshm

TEHRAN, Sept. 27 (MNA) -- The authenticity of the Portuguese castle on Qeshm Island, a legacy of 16th century colonialism, has been compromised as a result of an amateurish job of restoration.

The castle’s southern wall has been destroyed and dissimilar materials have been used in construction of the replacement wall, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.

The so-called restoration has been carried out by two workers using mortar made of stone and plaster. This is while there are documents indicating that the castle had been constructed with stones and saruj, a type of mortar made from cement and gypsum used in Sassanid era architecture. The documents also refer to the quarry from which the stones were taken for construction of the castle.

Fences have been removed from around the castle, leaving the site unprotected. The ruins of the historical site have currently been turned into a safe haven for drug addicts.

In April 2009, Iran and Portugal teamed up to restore southern Iran’s Portuguese castles, which, based on their agreement, was to include the castle on Qeshm Island.

However, Portugal withdrew from the restoration plan due to sanctions imposed to Iran by a number of European countries.

The Portuguese castles were constructed in southern Iran after the Portuguese viceroy Alfonso de Albuquerque attacked Hormoz Island in the Persian Gulf in 1507 during the reign of Safavid dynasty (1502–1736).

The first was built by Albuquerque on Hormoz Island. The fact that such an important place was in foreign hands was so galling to Safavid king Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) that he eventually convinced the British East India Company to allow its ships to cooperate with his land forces and wrested the island from the Portuguese in 1622.

The Portuguese left several other castles on the Iranian islands of Qeshm, and Larak and in the port of Kong as legacies of their colonial exploitation of the Persian Gulf during the 16th and 17th centuries.


News Code 42161

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