U.S. President Donald Trump started off the new year with a range of attacks against Iran – first, against Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani, killing him and sparking widespread concern over a potential “World War III;” and second, threatening to target 52 Iranian heritage sites, “very fast and very hard.”
That threat was via a tweet – as most of his threats are usually relayed – and one Iranian artist, Mohammad Hassan Forouzanfar, decided to respond with a conceptual project entitled ‘Peace.’
His project depicts UNESCO-listed world heritage sites in Iran with white flags raised atop each, drawing attention to their endangerment, beauty and historical and cultural significance. Some of these include Tabriz’s Blue Mosque, the historical city of Bam, and Tehran’s Golestan Palace.
The symbol of the “white flag” points towards the danger that conflict and war pose towards historical heritage sites – and the need to help preserve them and prevent them from becoming pawns of war.
Concerns over Iran’s heritage have been – rightfully – plenty since the semblances of war began with the start of the year. Iran ICOM Conservation Committee released a statement urging action against the destruction of “a civilisation of a thousand years, a civilisation that has played a major role in enriching other world cultures.”
The director general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, also gave an important reminder of both Iran and the US’s signature of a 1972 convention to protect the world's natural and cultural heritage.
Scroll below for the rest of the images in the photo series.