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Iran seeks return of historical artifacts from world museums

Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA -- Iran National Museum here Saturday slammed a declaration released by 18 of most famous world museums on a decision not to return the pieces belonging to the world's oldest civilizations.

In a report issued by 'Association of Concerned Reporters of Cultural Heritage,' 18 of most famous museums, in a joint statements recently said 'historical pieces and cultural treasures which have been stored in US and European museums centuries back are now part of those nations cultural heritage'.

The Director of Iran National Museums Mohammad Reza Kargar said that some of the pieces unearthed belonging to the Persepolis Complex, and ancient city of 'Shush' and others which date back to Achamenid dynasty should be returned as soon as possible.

Another official Ahmad Mouhit-Tabatabaei, deputy head of Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization for exhibition and training, said that many of the nations, including Iran, are signatories to the 1970 convention calling for prevention of import, export and illegal transfer of ownership of historical artifacts.

"We should strive for the return of all historical treasures that have been taken out of the country," he said.

Iran as an old civilization is a concerned part in any return of such artifacts on display in world museums.

In September, an exhibition on Iranian art and history was inaugurated in the Belgian city of Ghent.

Titled '7,000 Years of Persian Art', the exhibition pieces went on public viewing from September 13-January 5.

About 180 rare Iranian artifacts consisting of stone and metal works dating from the 7th millennium BC to the 10th century AD were displayed at the Center for Art and Culture in St. Peter's Abbey in Ghent.

The curator of the center, Johan Van de Wiele, explaining the aims of the exhibition told the press that the costly objects had been brought from the Iran National Museum in Tehran to allow the European public to become acquainted with Iranian history and culture. The exhibition was earlier held in Vienna and Bonn.

The oldest objects -- two clay figurines from the seventh and sixth millennium BC -- point to a decisive turning point in the history of humanity, the so-called 'neolithic revolution'.

Silver, ceramic and glass objects from the early Islamic period form the central piece of the last group of objects.

The exhibition offered a cultural-historical panorama of ancient Iranian civilization by means of 180 art objects, he added.

A book titled '7,000 Years of Persian Culture: Masterpieces from the National Museum in Tehran' in German language was presented to the journalists at the press conference.

... Payvand News - 2/16/03 ... --

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