September 26, 2023

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Pahlavani pants of Gholamreza Takhti, legendary Iranian freestyle wrestler, under restoration

TEHRAN – A team of restorers has commenced work on Pahlavani pants of Gholamreza Takhti, who was a legendary Iranian freestyle wrestler of the 20th century.

Gholamreza Takhti’s Pahlavani pants were handed over to the research institute for protection and restoration of historical-cultural artifacts for conservation measures, IRNA reported on Sunday.

The team will first conduct a case study on cleaning methods to choose the one which is suitable for these pants, which are made of leather and denim jeans, said Shahrzad Aminshirazi, who leads the team of restorers.

In this work, denim fabric is chosen as the main material and the work area, and strips of leather are sewn to it along the length of the pants and at the waist, she explained.

Its frequent and long-term use has caused the fabric to absorb the salts in perspiration for a long time, in addition to fat and other pollution, and become dry and brittle to some extent, the expert said.

An appropriate restoration can increase the performance values of the work and give it a visual effect [for public display], Aminshirazi said.

Takhti (1930 – 1968) was a gold medalist at the 1956 Summer Olympics, 1958 Asian Games, 1959 World Championships, and 1961 World Championships, as well as a three-time Pahlevan of Iran (a national championship for Pahlavani wrestling held annually in the country).

The athlete won his first Iranian championship in 1950 and later in 1951, he took a silver medal at the world freestyle championship in Helsinki, Finland. That was one of the first international medals to be won by Iranian wrestlers. He also bagged several other medals, but that is not the only reason why he is so popular among Iranians. He proved to be a real hero by showing exemplary characteristics such as his endless zeal to help the poor and the needy.

Owing to his good sportsmanship, he has been considered one of the most beloved athletes of Iran and is given the title of “Jahan Pahlavan”, which means “world champion”.

In 1961, a terrible earthquake occurred in Boein Zahra in west-central Iran, killing 45,000. Takhti was deeply touched by the suffering of the affected people who already lived in a very poor area. Already one of Iran’s biggest stars, he began to walk one of the main avenues of Tehran, asking for assistance for the victims. He inspired other champions to follow in his footsteps, and thousands gave donations to alleviate the suffering.


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