André Godard (21 January 1881 – 31 July 1965) was an archaeologist,
architect and historian of French and Middle Eastern Art. He served as
the director of the Iranian Archeological Service for many years.
Godard was born in Chaumont. A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts
of Paris, he studied Middle Eastern archaeology, particularly that of
Iran, and later became known for designing the National Museum of
Iran, where he was appointed inaugural director in 1936. He was also
instrumental in the design of
Tehran University campus.
He made his first trip to the Middle East in 1910 with Henri Violle.
Together, they began to excavate the ancient ruins of Samarra, located
in modern-day Iraq. The ruins were fully excavated a few years later
by German-born archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld. Godard returned to his
architectural studies in 1912, focusing on Islamic architecture of
After World War I, Godard married Yeda Reuilly. The Delegation of
French Archaeology in Afghanistan was subsequently founded in 1922, so
Godard and his new wife accompanied the organization to
not-yet-excavated regions. They consequently studied Bâmiyân, which
was later permitted to be exhibited at the central Buddhist shrine of
the Guimet Museum, in 1925.
In 1928, Godard was granted the directorship of Iranian Archeological
Services, by the authority of Reza Shah. The IAS was intended to mark
the end of French monopoly over excavation in Iran. As such, Godard
focused on the politics of conservation, and held the title of
Director from 1928-1953, then again from 1956-1960.
Reza Shah also
appointed him director of the
National Museum of Iran
National Museum of Iran (Muze-ye Irân-e
During his tenure, Godard was responsible for the restoration of major
historic monuments of Iran, such as the Friday Mosque, the Shah
Mosque, and Mosque of Sheikh Lutfallah of
Isfahan among others. Using
his directorships, he organized large excavations of bronzes of
Persepolis and Isfahan. He was also instrumental, together
with fellow architect Maxime Siroux, in the design of the National
Library of Iran, Tomb of Hafez, and Central Pardis, the main campus of
the University of Tehran.
During World War II Godard opposed the Vichy government of France and
when the Vichy diplomatic representatives were expelled from Tehran in
1942, helped form the
Free France Committee and later become the
official diplomatic representative of the provisional government in
Tehran. In this period his wife Yedda organized an information
radio program on
Free France which was broadcast on the Persian
Godard returned to
Paris in 1960, where he continued to write on
Iranian art. He died in
Paris on 31 July 1965.
^ a b Gran-Aymerich, Ève; Marefat, Mina (15 December 2001). "GODARD,
ANDRÉ". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
^ Chaumont, Marie-Louise (15 December 2000). "FRANCE iv. RELATIONS
WITH PERSIA SINCE 1918". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 10 January
ISNI: 0000 0001 1035 4441
BNF: cb125659665 (data)
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