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Iranian composer and opposition figure Shajarian buried near national poet


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© Reuters. Iranian composer and opposition figure Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s funeral, in Tus

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(Reuters) – Mohammad 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.

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.

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.

He was swiftly banned from Iran’s music scene.

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

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.

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.

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.

([email protected]; Editing by Mark Potter)

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