February 7, 2010
The British Museum’s arguments with Iran continue, as they try to justify their position in continually delaying the proposed reciprocal loan of the Cyrus Cylinder. What is more interesting is that the British Museum clings on to these artefacts proclaiming how important they are, but then it is not included on the list of the 100 most important artefacts in the Museum.
British Museum in battle with Iran over ancient ‘charter of rights’
Tehran alleges time-wasting as curator trawls through thousands of cuneiform clay fragments for Cyrus the Great’s legacy
John Wilson – The Observer, Sunday 24 January 2010
The discovery of fragments of ancient cuneiform tablets – hidden in a British Museum storeroom since 1881 – has sparked a diplomatic row between the UK and Iran. In dispute is a proposed loan of the Cyrus cylinder, one of the most important objects in the museum’s collection, and regarded by some historians as the world’s first human rights charter.
The Iranian government has threatened to “sever all cultural relations” with Britain unless the artefact is sent to Tehran immediately. Museum director Neil MacGregor has been accused by an Iranian vice-president of “wasting time” and “making excuses” not to make the loan of the 2,500-year-old clay object, as was agreed last year.
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