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Iran warns British Museum about retaining the Cyrus Cylinder

The vice president of Iran has issued a warning to cease all co-operation with the British Museum if they do not stop procrastinating over the planned loan of the Cyrus Cylinder [1]. This move echoes the efforts by Egypt to escalate their dispute with the Louvre [2] over disputed artefacts.

Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies [3]

Iran’s Vice President Threatens the British Museum
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 18:31

LONDON, (CAIS) — The Islamic Republic vice president who is also the director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (ICHTO) has threatened to cease the cooperation between the National Museum in Tehran and the British Museum in London, if the Cyrus the Great Cylinder is not loaned to Iran, reported the Persian service of the Aryan Heritage (Miras-e Ariya) on Wednesday.

While visiting the Iran’s National Museum, Hamid Baqaee told journalists: “The BM uses the current political situation in Iran as an excuse not to loan the cylinder to the National Museum.”

He continued “If the BM continues creating different excuses for not loaning the artefact to NM, we will cease cooperation in the field of archaeological expeditions and research with them.”

The Islamic Republic back in 2005, requested the BM to loan the Cyrus the Great Cylinder for a limited period of time to Iran for an exhibition.

The cylinder is considered by many researchers and historians as the world’s first charter of human rights, and has a special place in the hearts and minds of Iranian peoples.

The Islamic republic since coming to power in 1979 has been waging a war against pre-Islamic Iran and in particular the figure of Cyrus the Great. The request for the loan is however raising suspicion inside and outside Iran, as to why the clerical regime who insults the man who Iranians consider him as “The Father of the Iranian nation” as a “homosexual-Jew-Lover”; – or builds a dam so close to the Cyrus’s capital to ensure its destruction within few decades; – or calling the discovered bones in the cavity of the ceiling of his mausoleum as the “bones of a dog”; destroy Iran’s national heritage under the guise of developments, wishes to borrow this invaluable artefact.

Many believe this irreplaceable artefact should not be loaned to Iran, as its safety is impossible to guarantee.

Press TV [4]

Iran warns British Museum over Cyrus cylinder
Thu, 08 Oct 2009 09:50:33 GMT

Tehran will cease cooperation with the British Museum in London until it loans the Cyrus the Great Cylinder to the National Museum of Iran.

The clay cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus II, king of Persia (559-530 BC). The Cyrus Cylinder is described as the world’s first charter of human rights.

Iranian officials called on the British Museum to loan the country’s ancient cylinder, which was unearthed in 1879, in Esagila (the Murdak temple of Babylon).

“The British Museum implies the post-election political situation in Iran as its main excuse not to loan the cylinder to Iran’s National Museum,” said Hamid Baqaei, vice president in charge of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO).

“If the British Museum continues to make excuses for not loaning the artifact to the National Museum, we will, unfortunately, cease any cooperation with them, including archaeological expeditions and research,” he added.