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Our next story takes us to Iran, where a growing number of Iranians are buying replicas of ancient Persian art work for their businesses, homes and offices. Let's stop into one of the most popular stores making and selling replicas there to find out more. The Persian Achaemenid Sculpture "Gate of All Nations," dated around 500 BC, is an internationally recognized symbol of ancient Persian culture. But this "Gate of All Nations" is not a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's just one of the replicas being made at the Shahriar Statues & Sculpture Company. The workers here are trying to complete the growing number of orders for replica Persian art work from businesses inside and outside Iran.
Back in 1992, Esfandiyar Imanzadeh, was an ex-police officer who hardly thought he would go on to become a prominent sculptor. He's now the owner of Shahriar Statues & Sculpture Company, and has dedicated 20 years of his life to incorporating Iran's ancient history and culture into daily life. Esfandiyar Imanzadeh, Iranian sculptor and designer, said, "It was my life-time dream and objective to somehow bring museums to my people's houses. My utmost expectation is to see people remember their past when they see these (art works and sculptures). Last year we produced 1.2 million pieces and these 1.2 million pieces are now located in the best possible places of (Persian) houses, offices, hotels and restaurants as rich and worthy symbols of our national and religious culture. It is very enjoyable." These workers, who are experienced sculptors now, have been trained by Imanzadeh himself. Everybody here has the chance to develop his or her skills and climb up the promotion ladder. The company sometimes has to sell its products five times cheaper than they cost in order to beat off competition, but Imanzadeh says he regards his profession as a business of his heart rather than his pocket.
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