March 30, 2006
In 2004, US prosecutors seized a 2500 year of artefact of Iranian origin, believed to have been trafficked.
Since then, due to the US’s deteriorating relations with Iran, the piece has been stored in a warehouse rather than being returned to its rightful owners.
Beyond this point, the case gets somewhat complex & confusing – the end result possibly being that this & other artefacts belonging to Iran may be sold off to provide compensation money for victims of a crime completely unrelated to these artefacts.
New York Times
Antiquities and Politics Intersect in a Lawsuit
By BARRY MEIER
Published: March 29, 2006
INCREASINGLY, the world of antiquities and museums has become a politically charged one, with museums acknowledging that art that was found to be looted must be returned. But when the objects come from a country that is viewed as an enemy rather than an ally, the arena of antiquities takes a different twist. Consider the fate of some artifacts from Iran.
In 2004, federal prosecutors in New York seized a 2,500-year-old silver ceremonial drinking vessel of Iranian origin. Because imports from Iran are severely restricted, a dealer had listed the object on import papers as coming from Syria and sold it to a collector for $950,000.
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