Sculptor and painter Hannibal Alkhas dies at 80

16_rm311.jpgTEHRAN — Iranian master sculptor and painter Hannibal Alkhas died on September 14 in the United States at the age of 80. He was suffering from a form of cancer.
Alkhas traveled to Iran in June to attend his 80th birthday celebration that his students had arranged for him at the Iranian Artists Forum where a series of his works also went on show.

He was planning to stay in Iran until the end of the year but was forced to return to the United States for medical treatment.

His body will be buried in the United States on Thursday, but a funeral ceremony is arranged here in Tehran on Thursday at the Catholic Church located on Forsat St. and Enqelab Ave., his brother-in-law Albert Gabriel told the Persian service of MNA on Wednesday.

The son of Assyrian writer Rabi Adai Alkhas, Hannibal was born in 1930 in Kermanshah, Iran. He moved to the United States in 1951 where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1953 to 1959 and earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in fine art. He taught at different campuses of the Islamic Azad University in Iran.

Hannibal Alkhas was working on the completion of his Assyrian reproduction of the tragedy of Rustam and Sohrab, which was to have a happy ending.

“When I read the combat of Rustam and Sohrab in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, I wept for Sohrab (Rustam’s only son) who was killed by his father. So I decided to bring the story to a different end,” he had told MNA in June.

He had also explained that he changed the plot in a way that when Rustam takes the knife to stab Sohrab, he feels the great power of Sohrab and realizes that he is his son and does not kill him. Thereafter, father and son become close friends and decide to help people. The story continues on to the modern world of today where they even travel to the United States to save the American Indians.

Painter and sculptor Alkhas had also illustrated tens of book covers. His translation of Hafez’s lyrics into Assyrian was also among his other credits.