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Historic Risbaf to be Restored as Isfahan Great Museum

Insert Date : 2017-12-25
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The Risbaf factory will live again, but not as a factorya where the Isfahani’s were once familiar with, this time as a great museum in the Manchester of east.


   Factory Production Movement in Isfahan
“Reza Afshar” was one of the important and influential governors of Isfahan. He was appointed to govern Isfahan in 1932 and carried out significant construction work and established the basis for the establishment of new textile industries in the city. The Vatan factory was set up in 1925, but it was at Afshar’s era, that the factory movement really started to grow roots in Isfahan, and the Risbaf factory was established with the collective participation of the people of Isfahan as a joint stock company. But Afshar’s real achievement at that time was the social reform and a change in attitude of Isfahanians. In wise words of, Nasrallah Saifpour Fatemi (great brother of Dr. Hossein Fatemi): In a period when people did not trust themselves and the government and never worked collectively, he managed to run several factories in Isfahan with the participation and management of the same people and city elders. He started these factories in the form of joint stock companies, and he was able to gather the small capitals of the masses to build the Risbaf factory on Charbagh Street. When this practice showed its positive effects, trust was created, and more funds were gathered and as a result several other factories were stablished namely: Zayandeh Rood, Nakhtab, Wool Industries, Shahreza, and consequently Isfahan was dubbed “Manchester of East”.




   How did the Risbaf factory started?
Risbaf factory was established on February 9, 1932 with the total capital of 314 thousand tomans and in the form of a joint stock company in the southeast of Si-o-Se-pol Bridge, it was located at the gardens of “Etemaddoleh” and “Hatam Beyg”, on the east side of Chahar Bagh, which at that time was called “HezarJarib”, furthermore It was built on an area of over 69,000 square meters. The factory can be called the second textile factory in Isfahan and the first establishment resulted by the collective labor and capital of Isfahan people. In the year 1925, the Vatan Factory was established with the participation of two businessmen from Isfahan called Ata’almolk Dehsh and Mohammad Hossein Kazerooni. A few years later, following the visit of Reza Shah to Isfahan in November 1932, and his meeting with Isfahan businessmen, the construction of the Risbaf factory, the title of which is a combination of two words spinning and weaving, was started. In fact, following this journey, the ruler of Isfahan and the capitalists were obliged to begin investing in productive works, and the construction of the Risbaf factory was the result of Reza Shah’s command at that time.Seyed Jawad Kasai, a member of the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce, who was subsequently elected chairman of the Chamber, was elected CEO of the company. While the names of others such as Haydar Ali Emami, Hassan Soltani, Aziz Nikipi, Abdol Ali Feiz and Ibrahim Kassayian were also mentioned as the co-founders of this factory in the documents that remains of that era. Risbaf began working on the production of cotton yarn, cotton fabric and wool fabric at the time of its inception.




After that, in 1934, new sections were operationalized, cotton and wool knitting were opened at a ceremony and after a while the production of Risbaf blankets was started. Professor Motamedi under the supervision of a German engineer, Max Etusunman, assumed responsibility for the construction of Risbaf, and erected this factory with a special style of architecture.  The management of Kasai on the Risbaf factory provided a lot of success for the factory and the plant became profitable. The profitability of Risbaf led to a rise in the market for fabricated textile factories in the Charbagh Bala axis in Isfahan. Later on, this monument was shut down and repeatedly changed for different reasons, such as the reception of heavy bank loans, debt, lack of raw materials, and the inability to pay workers’ salaries. The National Bank was one of the main creditors of Risbaf, which ultimately led to the bank’s acquisition of the plant and, after some time the plant was fully acquired by the National Bank, and changed name to National Risbaf Company.




   Risbaf’s permanent shutdown
The factory was shut down by the beginning of the year 1951, but since the impact of job loss of so many industrialized workers were of great social and economic significance, in mid-1951, the Industrial Inspection Board agreed to pay a three million Toman loan to Risbaf, but even this sum was not able to end the problems of the factory. Risbaf was shut down again in 1952, and this time the government came to the aid of Risbaf and lent 1.5 million tomans to the officials of the plant to begin again. In early 1955, Seyed Jawad Kasai resigned from the factory management. Seyed Jawad Kasai, in a statement released later on, mentioned the reasons for his resignation and said that “up to the year 1949, the balance sheet showed no sign of loss but after that year, the work reached the point where the sale of the product didn’t even cover the expense of raw materials let alone the workers’ wages, and the flood of foreign textiles also killed any hope to revitalize the factory “. And he admitted that it was necessary to pay 27 months of salaries in a grand sum of more than thirty million Rials to workers without them doing any work. He stated that everyone thought responsible to take steps to save and manage Risbaf. And Riesb’s activity continued with all the problems until the mid-fifties when the mentioned problems and new laws prohibiting the activity of industries in the city, finished off Risbaf for good. This historic monument, which was owned by the National Bank, was registered on August 8, 2002 with the registration number 6018 as one of the national heritage sites of Iran. Finally, in the eleventh government, with the efforts of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the Iranian Civil and Urban Improvement Company And provincial officials the factory was purchased at a cost of about 215 billion Toman, with the aim to restore, reviving and use this valuable architectural work and creating a cultural, recreational and social environment. The Risbaf factory was registered on August 8, 2002 with the registration number 6018 as one of the national heritage sites of Iran.



   Risbaf lives again
Now, however, Risbaf is supposed to become the Great Museum of Isfahan, to that end the ownership was given to the Department of Roads and Urban Development of Isfahan Province, who in turn started to seek private investors to convert this establishment into a museum.

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