November 5, 2009

When will the British Museum enter into negotiations with Iran

Posted at 7:17 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The dispute over the Cyrus Cylinder continues, with Iran hoping that their threats of ceasing other cooperation with the British Museum will re-initiate the talks. The question has to be asked though why such actions are necessary in the first place & whether the British Museum will carry out its promise & allow the loan to take place.

Press TV (Iran)

Iran’s ultimatum on Cyrus cylinder worries UK
Thu, 22 Oct 2009 14:26:46 GMT

The British Museum has informed Iran in a letter that a delegation will be sent to Tehran to discuss the loaning of the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to Iran.

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

The ancient cylinder was scheduled to be given to Iran on loan in September; however, citing Iran’s post-election disputes the British Museum backed out of the agreement.

Tehran said that it would cease cooperation with the British Museum until the Cylinder is loaned to the National Museum of Iran.

Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei announced on Thursday that Tehran had received a letter from London in which the British side expressed its desire to follow the deal.

“Iran has warned to cease scientific and cultural cooperation with Britain if the UK fails to loan the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to Iran within two months,” Baqei said.

“After we gave a two-month time deadline for London to loan the ancient clay cylinder to Iran, the director of the British Museum Neil Macgregor wrote a letter to us saying they would send a delegation to Tehran to review the deal,” he added.

“We take this as a good sign that the British Museum can differentiate between politics and culture,” Baqaei said.

Associated Press

British Museum negotiating with Iran over artifact
10/22/2009, 1:54 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

(AP) — LONDON – The British Museum says it will open negotiations with Iran over loaning the country an ancient Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world’s earliest bill of rights.

Spokeswoman Esme Wilson said Wednesday that the museum was preparing to send a member of staff to Tehran to discuss a possible loan of the Cyrus Cylinder, a 6th century B.C. clay artifact which carries an account by Cyrus, the king of Persia.

The artifact describes how Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and restored many of the people held captive by the Babylonians to their homelands.

The artifact has been described on the U.N. Web site and elsewhere as the world’s oldest human rights document. But the British Museum notes that such declarations were common at the time.

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