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Pink Mosque’s Stolen Tiles Recovered, Culprits Arrested

Pink Mosque’s Stolen Tiles Recovered, Culprits ArrestedPink Mosque’s Stolen Tiles Recovered, Culprits Arrested

The thief who stole five valuable tiles from Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque in Shiraz, Fars Province,last month has been apprehended by the protection unit of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and handed over to the provincial law-enforcement forces.

Also called the Pink Mosque, Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade and displays traditional elements in its architecture. The building is famous for its unique design and colored tiles.

After being arrested, the culprit cooperated with authorities and reenacted the crime and helped track down the individual to whom the tiles were sold, IRNA reported.

“Besides the stolen tiles, several valuable antique pieces were also detected and seized in the buyer’s house,” said MosayyebAmiri, the head of the provincial office of ICHHTO.  

Following the theft of the tiles on June 5, the cultural heritage authorities immediately started taking measures to replace the stolen tiles.

“The temporary replacements were installed in place of the stolen ones to provide the experts with enough time to make tiles matching the original patterns,” Amiri said a couple of days after the theft.

Pointing to the need for using modern technology to protect historical sites, Amiri said the old systems will not suffice and guards need to be stationed around the site.

Asked whether the mosque was equipped with CCTV cameras, Hamid Kesht, caretaker of the mosque, said the security system “had been purchased but not yet installed”.

According to the caretaker, this was not the first case of robbery and the bronze door knocker had been stolen twice before.

Nasir-ol-Molk mosque was built during the Qajar era on the order of Mirza Hassan Ali (also known as Nasir-ol-Molk), a Qajar ruler.