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News number: 8807201310

15:37 | 2009-10-12

Culture

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Iran Gives Ultimatum to British Museum over Cyrus Cylinder

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran announced that it would cease cooperation with the British Museum in London if the UK fails to loan the Achaemenid Cyrus cylinder to the National Museum of Iran in two months' time.



"According to a deal between Iran's National Museum and the British Museum, the ancient clay cylinder was scheduled to be displayed in Iran in September but the director of the British Museum, in a letter, refused to do so, saying that the museum is not able to send the artifact due to Iran's post-election political state," Deputy Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO), Hamid Baqaie told FNA on Sunday.

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.

He said the British Museum has announced that it will send the artifact at another date.

"This is just an excuse and they want to postpone meeting their commitment," he went on to say.

"If they fail to loan the Cyrus cylinder to Iran in two months, we will cease all our joint archeological cooperation and cultural heritage exhibitions ... in Britain," Baqaie concluded.