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British officials visit Iran to discuss Cyrus Cylinder

A representative from the British Museum is going to discuss the Cyrus Cylinder in Iran. This seems to indicate that Iran’s threats to cease cooperation [1] if the issue was not dealt with by the institution has at least had some success.

Press TV (Iran) [2]

UK official visits Iran over Cyrus cylinder
Sun, 25 Oct 2009 10:34:44 GMT

A British Museum representative is to head to Tehran in a bid to negotiate with Iranian officials over lending the Cyrus cylinder inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform.

“The director of the Middle East department at the British Museum, Sheila Canby, is scheduled to visit Tehran so as to address the matter. The 2,500-year-old clay cylinder was to be temporarily handed over to Iran in September. The British Museum however did not honor its pledge citing developments after Iran’s election in June,” Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei said.

He added that there was an agreement between the National Museum of Iran and the British Museum so that the cylinder could be lent to Tehran for display.

Iran has set a deadline of two months for the British Museum to lend it the artifact relating to Cyrus of Persia’s conquest of Babylon in the 6th century BC.

“The director of the British Museum Neil Macgregor wrote a letter subsequently, reiterating Britain’s willingness to send the cylinder to Iran. All agreements in the field of archaeological research and so on with Britain will be harmed if the British Museum fails to honor its pledge to send the piece,” Baqaei explained.

The ancient clay Cyrus Cylinder is an artifact of the Persian Empire consisting of the first charter of human rights inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform. It is a solid representative of Cyrus’ tolerance towards different faiths of his era.