Iran composer and government critic Shajarian buried near national poet Ferdowsi

Tehran: Mohammed Reza Shajarian, Iran’s most celebrated musician and a critic of the government, was buried on Saturday near the 7th century national poet Ferdowsi, Iranian media reported.

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A classical composer and singer, Shajarian, who died on Thursday in a Tehran hospital at the age of 80 after a long battle with cancer, was regarded as a national treasure who revived traditional music.

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But he became a beacon of opposition after he condemned the violent government crackdown of protests against the disputed 2009 election that gave a second term to hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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He was swiftly banned from Iran’s music scene.

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State TV on Saturday made a brief announcement about Shajarian’s burial, which media said was attended by his family and fans.

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Video footage posted on semi-official Iranian news sites showed mourners singing “Morgh-e Sahar” (The Dawn Bird) over Shajarian’s grave, an ode to freedom and revolution that he composed.

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There were conflicting reports about whether Shajarian was buried inside Ferdowsi’s mausoleum in the northwestern city of Tous – as his family had planned – or close to his tomb.

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Earlier, a government official in the northwestern Khorasan Province, home to the ancient city of Tous, said the burial would follow coronavirus protocols and masks would be distributed to mourners.

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