Freedom Sculpture Cyrus LA
4ht of July festivals always mark the most important national day in US calendar This time in Los Angeles, and for the Iranian community here, it also found a Persian taste. Tens of thousands gathered here in Beverly Hills to unveil a sculpture that has been planned from 4 years ago. ‘The Freedom Sculpture’, just with the same idea that the French gifted to New York City a century and half ago. The first step was when the ‘Cyrus Cylinder’ was going on tour in the US and the number of its visitors hit the records at the Getty Museum in LA. Alireza Ardekani,
Executive Director at Farhang Foundation: Alireza Ardekani,
Executive Director at Farhang Foundation:
“Now more than 1 million people from 50 countries have supported this project…” “… and we have raised $ 2.6 million for this.” “and it’s interesting that also non-Iranians have supported this project.” “Because this is something that everyone can relate to it these days…” “Liberty… Religious Freedom…” “But $ 2.6 million is a big money… One could do many other things with this money!” “Yes of course, there are lots of other things to do…” “But Farhang Foundation has a mission and it is to introduce the Iranian culture and art…” “to the non-Iranian and also the Iranian community in the US.” “We saw that specially the Americans did not have any idea how much the Founding Fathers were inspired by… “by Cyrus the Great and his Cylinder.” “It has influenced the US Constitution as we know the Founding Fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, had the Cyropaedia.” [Cyropaedia: A book about Cyrus, written by Xenophon, a soldier and the student of Socrates.] “… when they were drafting the US Constitution.” Contributions has been from few dollars to amounts in 6 digits numbers. One of the biggest crowdfunding projects; and according to the organizers, “the biggest and the most expensive crowdfunded gift in US history”. This Cyrus-inspired sculpture is even more symbolic in the time when US gov is taking a harder stance on immigration policies affecting Iranians; including the visa ban. This unveiling event was a good reason for tens of thousands of Iranians to enjoy it where stars like Ebi and Arash performed. As it got dark and the 4th of July fireworks started, the Iranian-style lightings “Cheraghooni” was spectacular along the Santa Monica blvd. And a while after the sunset, the gift from Iranian-Americans to LA got opened. “Iranians who see the Cyrus Cylinder from 2550 years ago as a manifesto in human rights, “… here tonight gifted the Freedom Sculpture, inspired by that Cylinder, to LA in the west coast of the US.” “A reminder that one of the biggest figures of Iran ancient history, Cyrus…” “… was insisting on the same values that US founding fathers were supporting.” An artistic piece designed by Cecil Balmond, SriLankan-British architect made of two cylinders, one within the other. The silver cylinder, as a showcase, embracing the golden cylinder. that symbolizes “the treasure of Cyrus’ message for today” Cecil Balmond, architect of the “Freedom Sculpture”: “Those zigzags are made out of the prime numbers. Prime numbers like 5, 7, 11 are undividable.” “They’re like atoms of the numbers. One of the greatest secrets of the universe…” “and one of the fundamental things that we got.” “I took these prime numbers in a certain way to give another fundamental message about the Cyrus and the idea of human rights.” Located at a very crowded intersection in Beverly Hills, this sculpture is going to shine on its silver surface under the sun in daylight, and be lit by LED lightings on its golden surface inside. A monument from the Iranian community for the US, in a city that Persian names are already famous.