Iranian authorities have turned the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran “into a combination museum, amusement park and propaganda outlet,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
On Nov. 1, several journalists were the first foreigners to visit the compound since 52 U.S. hostages were freed in 1981.
The preview of the embassy-turned-attraction drew attention to the 22nd anniversary of the embassy’s takeover on Nov. 4, 1979, when Iranian militants took hostages for 444 days.
The embassy takeover came on the heels of an Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed monarchy, according to AP.
Mohammed Shoah, supported by Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, now directs the exhibition.
“The last generation, they already knew about [American] interference with Iran, but this generation, they have to learn more about it and the history of our revolution,” Shoah told the Times.
Authorities have arranged carnival games in a warehouse on embassy grounds. There, children can fire tennis balls at Uncle Sam and punch George Washington.
There are also more than 60 exhibits, including a trampled American flag and “a coppercolored statue of a Marine, his hands held high in surrender,” according to the Times.
The Washington Post carried a photograph of a mural on the embassy’s wall. The mural shows the Statue of Liberty, but Liberty’s face is a skull.
A female tour guide also tried to convince the visiting journalists that Israel controls the United States.
For “proof,” she pointed to the 13 stars on the back of the dollar bill. A closer look reveals their arrangement as the Star of David, the tour guide told the journalists.
The guide also said the bald eagle grasping the shield resembles a menorah when the dollar bill is turned upside down.
The exhibition offers mainly photographs, the most graphic of which are “pictures of dead children retrieved from the floating wreckage of the Iranian Airbus mistakenly blown out of the skies by the U.S. warship Vincennes in 1988,” the Times wrote.
Roughly 5,000 people attended the commemoration of the takeover on Nov. 4, according to AP. This year’s commemoration was less festive than previous years’.
The U.S. embassy theme park may be part of a trend. In February, ABCNEWS.com reported the opening of Stalinworld in the Lithuanian village of Gruta.
Stalinworld offers sightseers the chance “to wander among the towering Communist-era sculptures, under the gaze of mannequins manning machine guns in watchtowers, and eat at a cafe serving labor camp standards like gruel and fishhead soup,” according to ABCNEWS.com.
Cliff Vaughn is BCE’s associate director.