People, Travel

Nat’l Museum Opens New Wings

Nat’l Museum Opens New WingsNat’l Museum Opens New Wings

The Islamic Period and Prehistoric wings of the National Museum of Iran were inaugurated on Saturday, during a ceremony attended by cultural heritage officials, including the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Speaking at the ceremony, Masoud Soltanifar praised the opening of the two wings and said the museum is now four times larger than it was, ILNA reported.

“I have seen many museums around the world, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and even though I’ve spent 30 hours in that museum, I still cannot claim to have seen every wing of the museum,” he said.

He said once he took office, he made it his mission to expand the national museum since “a tourist only spends an hour to see every section of place and that is unacceptable.”

The vice president said there are 200,000 artifacts in the museum, including coins and earthenware.

“The underground levels of the museums have been used for storage of artifacts, but we intend to open those levels to the public by February 2016,” Soltanifar said.

According to an agreement with the head of National Library of Iran and discussions with the Ministry of Science, the building adjacent to the museum, which in the past was used as national library, will be annexed to the museum complex.

Soltanifar said legal procedures are being followed to repatriate Achaemenid tablets currently kept at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.