January 13, 2005

British Museum to lend Cyrus Cylinder to Iran

Posted at 2:32 pm in British Museum

The British Museum has agreed to lend the Cyrus Cylinder (possibly the first declaration of human rights) to Iran for two years for an exhibition (in return Iran is lending a large number of items to the British Museum for an exhibition about ancient Persia).


British Museum to Loan Cyrus Cylinder to Iran for 2 Years

Tehran, Jan. 12 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency)—After its renovation process is finished, Iran’s National Museum will be the host of Cyrus Cylinder for 2 years.

In a special exhibition in Iran’s National Museum, Cyrus Cylinder will be displayed along with other Iranian artifacts in possession of the biggest museums around the world.

The so-called Cyrus Cylinder, widely believed to be the first manifesto of human rights written over 2,000 years ago, by the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, details the conquest of the Babylon of Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar by the 6th century BC Persian king, Cyrus the Great.

“We have done some negotiations with the British Museum, and we can surely borrow the Cyrus Cylinder for 2 years, but as the exact time of renovation process in National Museum is not determined, we haven’t begun any negotiations with Louvre, Metropolitan, and other important museums yet”, Mohammad-reza Kargar, National Museum director, told CHN.

National Museum experts are now considering the greatest Iranian artifacts in other museums around the world to determine in the next 2 years the line of history that this special exhibition is going to follow, said Kargar.

The victory in the 6th century BC made Cyrus the leader of the first world empire, stretching from Egypt to China. Cyrus proved a model ruler. He describes on the cylinder measures of relief for the inhabitants of Babylon and the return to their homelands of people held by the former kings, thought to have included the Jews.

The cylinder which would have been used as a foundation stone to a building was found in Babylon, in modern Iraq, in a British Museum dig in the 19th century.

Its return visit to the National Museum of Tehran will follow a generous loan by the Iranians, who are to send 50 antiquities for the British Museum’s exhibition on the splendors of Ancient Persia planned for September 2005.

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