September 5, 2006

British Museum steps into Iranian artefact row

Posted at 12:38 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The US has been pursuing a case whereby they want to sell off impounded looted Iranian artefacts which are currently held in the University of Chicago. The British Museum has now steeped into the argument; with its director Neil MacGregor stating that he is willing to help Iran in their attempts to secure the return of these artefacts.
As with many other cases in recent years, the way the British Museum wants to be seen to be behaving nowadays is completely different from how it has acted in the more distant past. It appears that rather than reflecting on earlier wrongs & making any attempt to right them, they would rather redefine themselves by entirely new actions & let the past remain exactly as it was.

Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran)

Today: Monday September 04, 2006
British Museum ready to help return cultural objects to Iran
Tehran, Sept 4, IRNA

Britain-Iran-Mud tablets
The director of The British Museum, Neil MacGregor, here on Monday voiced his readiness to help in returning stolen cultural objects from Iran which are currently the subject of a US federal court order for an auction sale.

During a meeting with the Vice-President and head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Esfandiar Rahim Moshaei, he said his museum had sent a letter to Chicago University regarding the Iranian cultural objects smuggled to the US.

The invaluable pieces, relics of the magnificent Persepolis, seat of the Achaemenid Empire of ancient Persia and bearing inscriptions in cuneiform, were given to the University of Chicago Oriental Institute to be kept in trust for study and deciphering of their cuneiform inscriptions.

For his part, Rahim Moshaei said what the instant case involving Iranian artifacts is not new from the political and judicial viewpoints since the Iranian nation has witnessed similar cases involving the US government in past years.

He further voiced his organization’s readiness to cooperate with The British Museum on ways of getting the world to better understand and appreciate Iran’s rich history as well as the Iran of today.

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