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Pershing Square Getting a Statue of Cyrus the Great?

By Pamela Rouse
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010, at 09:02AM
Pershing Square's Palm Court Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Pershing Square's collection of statues and memorials is found in the park's Palm Court.

Pershing Square’s statue collection currently contains two war memorials and a famous composer, but it could soon be adding its first emperor.

Cyrus the Great was founder of the Persian Empire in 600 BC. He reigned for approximately thirty years and is credited with leading massive military campaigns that expanded the empire into Southwest and Central Asia. He is known for fairness, allowing freedom of religion and cultural diversity under his rule.

He’s also a historic figure that Downtown property owner and Iranian-American Ezat Delijani thinks more Downtowners should know about.

City Council on Tuesday voted to move forward on Delijani’s offer to pay for the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of a statue to Cyrus the Great in the Downtown park.

Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced the statue motion in May, says that she admires the reasoning behind Delijani’s request.

“He was inspired by a similar monument in Australia that was designed as a symbol of Cyrus the Great’s commitment to multiculturalism and cultural tolerance,” she explains. “This will be a great historic and artistic focal point in Downtown.”

The Australian work is a bas relief sculpture designed by Fereshteh Sadegh and created by artist Lewis Batros which was placed in Sydney’s Bicentennial Park in 1994.

The statue must still be approved by the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners and the Cultural Affairs Commission.

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