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Khaju Bridge repairs said falling apart after 1 year.


An expert is criticizing as inept the restoration work recently done on the Khaju Bridge, one of the historic structures built over the Zayanderud River in Esfahan.

Workers used cement last year for restoring the bridge, but Omid Udbashi believes they should have used another type of mortar instead of cement, the Mehr news agency reported Sunday.

The restoration work was conducted by the Esfahan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department last summer.

Cement can cause erosion of the stones used in the bridge, Udbashi said. "Due to the lime content of the stones, other types of mortar should be used in this kind of a restoration project." He said the use of cement in the restoration of monuments was done away with more than 40 years ago.

According to Udbashi, the cement mortar has also been eroded away by the river water passing under the bridge, although not even a year has passed since the project was completed. (See photo.)

He said a monument needs to be studied carefully before undertaking any restoration work. However, such research is usually omitted in Iran due to the cost.

Last August, the Esfahan Press Activists Society also issued a statement censuring the restoration on Khaju as inept and unprofessional. More than 40 journalists who signed the statement said the restoration had ruined the authenticity of the Khaju Bridge.

The bridge is also being threatened by the growth of grass and algae in the gaps between the stones of the bridge.

The Khaju Bridge was built around 1650 during the reign of the Safavid Shah Abbas II. It was built on the foundation of an earlier bridge.

Comprised of 23 arches, the bridge is 105 meters long and 14 meters wide. The Khaju Bridge had previously been restored in 1873.

Last November, Si-o-Seh Pol, the other famed and historic bridge over the Zayanderud in Esfahan, was damaged by a tunnel-boring project for the Esfahan Metro. The tunnel-boring machine deviated from its intended route and bumped into a ramp and a lower part of the bridge.
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Title Annotation:Culture: From then to now
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Jun 25, 2010
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