Iran seeks compensation from British Museum

April 18, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Iran plans to seek compensation from the British Museum after the museum refused to lend the country the Cyrus Cylinder for a showcase.

“The National Museum of Iran has spent about $300,000 for the showcase and we plan to demand our outlay back from the British Museum,” Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) Director Hamid Baqaii told the Persian service of ISNA on Friday.
He said that he is scheduled to visit a British official in the upcoming week to discuss the museum’s refusal to loan the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran for the exhibit.
According to Baqaii, who is also a vice president, the CHTHO has complained to UNESCO about the British Museum’s decision declining to send the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran.
The cylinder was to be put on display in an exhibition at the National Museum of Iran on January 16, but officials at the British Museum said a week before the date that there would be a delay in sending the artifact.
The British Museum said that the decision to postpone sending the artifact to Iran was made due to a recent discovery of two cuneiform tablets in BM’s collection of Babylonian art, which contain passages with remarkable similarities to those found on the cylinder.
But Iran saw political reasons for the delay as it occurred in the wake of turmoil following Iran’s disputed presidential election.
Consequently, Iran cut all relations and cooperation with the British Museum.
Photo: Cyrus Cylinder