Relics repatriated from France on show at Tehran museum

April 8, 2022 - 20:35

TEHRAN – A collection of smuggled relics recently been returned home from France has been put on show at the National Museum of Iran.

The collection comprises 29 rare relics some of which date 5,000 years, said Saeid Owhadi, a senior official with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was attended by several cultural officials, diplomats, and art experts on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

The repatriated objects date from different historical periods… They include an ancient piece of pottery that goes back to the bronze age, that is nearly 5,000 years ago, the ministry’s deputy for development of management and resources added. “Over the past couple of years, good steps have been taken for repatriation of historical objects.”

“We have had 19 important cases that covered 40,000 historical objects,  which are part of the Iranian culture and civilization, being returned to the country with follow-ups of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts and Foreign Ministry as well as the Organization for Islamic Culture and Communications,” the official explained.

Relics repatriated from France on show at Tehran museum

Furthermore, the Foreign Ministry’s director-general for cultural cooperation and Iranian expatriates’ affairs said the 29 historical objects were repatriated after talks between Iran’s cultural attache in Paris and decedents of World War II President of France, Charles de Gaulle.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mohammad-Ali Kiani said Iranian cultural attaches in 65 countries have been tasked with identifying and coordinating the return of Iranian cultural and historical objects.

Earlier in March, Morteza Adibzadeh, the director-general of Museums and Historical-Cultural Properties, announced: “the Islamic Republic seeks to bring back some 100 relics that have been smuggled into the U.S., France, England, Hungary, and Norway.”

“We are following 13 cases of returning historical objects, including about one hundred specific pieces from the United States, Hungary, France, England, and Norway, which will be returned home in [the Iranian calendar year] 1401.

Adibzadeh made the remarks at the National Museum of Iran during the opening ceremony of an exhibition of prehistorical glazed bricks recovered from a smuggler in Switzerland.

Chock-full of priceless objects showcasing the juicy history of the nation, the National Museum showcases ceramics, pottery, stone figures, and carvings, mostly taken from excavations at Persepolis, Ismail Abad (near Qazvin), Shush, Rey, and Turang Tappeh to name a few.

Its main building, designed by French architect André Godard and completed in 1928, is one of the more attractive modern buildings in Tehran, blending Sassanian principles such as the grand iwan-style entrance with art deco–style brickwork.

Inside, among the finds from Shush, there’s a stone capital of a winged lion, some delightful pitchers and vessels in animal shapes, and colorful glazed bricks decorated with double-winged mythical creatures. A copy of the diorite stele detailing the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, found at Shush in 1901, is also displayed – the original being in Paris.


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