It’ll be cold day in… Monticello closes for Khatami

Monticello plans to close tomorrow morning for three hours, at the height of the weekend tourist rush, for a visit from former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami.

"We do realize that visits of this nature are an inconvenience to our staff and visitors, but in the long run, they're rewarding and beneficial," says Monticello spokesperson Wayne Mogielnicki. The home of America's third president will be closed September 9 from 9:30 to 12:30, Mogielnicki says. "Anyone who shows up during that time period will be encouraged to buy a time ticket for later in the day."

At the time of this telephone interview with Mogielnicki this morning, there was no indication either on the front page of the historic house's website or its "visit" page of the impending closure. However, by 2pm, such notice of a "special event" closure had been posted.
Monticello has been closed for heads of state at least 30 times, Mogielnicki says, and Khatami's position as having led a nation that an American president branded part of an "axis of evil" didn't deter the visit.

"We do not necessarily endorse or agree with [heads of state] on anything, but in the Jeffersonian spirit of hospitality and exchange, we think this on fits in with that," Mogielnicki said.
Khatami, widely viewed as a progressive (at least when compared with the current Iranian president) called for the U.S. to remain in Iraq when he spoke yesterday in UVA's Rotunda.

1 comment

Khatami shouldn't have been allowed in the country, let alone at Monticello! But since he was allowed to travel here, he should have done so at his own risk, not with the help of the Virginia State Police and other U.S. security organizations. Here we are, trying to fight terror abroad before it comes back to the U.S., and we practically invite it in anyway! I wonder if he had to take off his shoes before he boarded the plane?