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Photo of the Week: Brutalist Crossing

Pawel Wargan


An underground street crossing beneath Tehran’s Meydan-e Azadi (Freedom Square), now used by artisans and artists specialising in traditional crafts. Above stands the Azadi Tower, commissioned by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to celebrate his achievements and commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. For the occasion, the British Museum loaned the Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient charter of human rights, to Iran. The Cylinder was exhibited in the Tower and was the official symbol of the anniversary. The Shah was heavily criticised for the lavish spending on this event and other projects. He would be overthrown eight years later in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Pawel Wargan holds the Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford and currently works as a lawyer in London.

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