Iran to lodge complaint against British Museum to UNESCO

Iran has cut links with the British Museum over its failure to lend the Islamic Republic an ancient Persian treasure, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

Iran to lodge complaint against British Museum to UNESCO

Iran has cut links with the British Museum over its failure to lend the Islamic Republic an ancient Persian treasure, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

Iran's Cultural Heritage Organisation said in October it had set a two-month deadline for the British Museum to allow the public display in Iran of the Cyrus Cylinder, linked to the Persian ruler's 6th century BC conquest of Babylon.

Tehran's decision to break off relations with the museum was revealed by Hamid Baghai, who heads the cultural heritage and tourism organisation.

"Since the Cyrus Cylinder has not been transferred to Iran, we will lodge a complaint against the British Museum to UNESCO and cut ties," Baghai was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

The museum, he said, had failed to meet a final deadline of Sunday, leading to the cut, and Iran's decision to notify the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

"The British Museum told us they will transfer it to us in September, then they said November, and then finally said January 16. We have so far spent around 200,000 dollars on additional security devices to protect the loaned cylinder," Baghai added.

"Then we got a letter saying they cannot send the cylinder following the Ashura day incidents," he said, referring to deadly clashes in Tehran between security forces and opposition supporters on the day of a Shiite ritual on December 27.

Baghai said the museum later told Tehran it had more "fragments belonging to the cylinder and the cylinder will be transferred to Iran... So we gave them a final two weeks to keep their word," a period which ended on Sunday.

Meanwhile Mohseni said there would be no further visits of British archaeological teams to Iran following the cut in relations.

Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2010, 14:17
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