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Iranian Artifacts on Sale in Christie's

Tehran, Apr. 19 (CHN) - Christie's auction house in London is putting on sale artifacts from Iran in three of its upcoming events. "Faces from the Ancient World, A European Private Collection" held on 20th of April, "Islamic Art and Manuscripts" held on 26th of April, and "Oriental Rugs and Carpets" held on 28th of April will include diverse items of the Iranian civilization, from a mortar to a painting to a fragment of the Palace of Xerxes of the World Heritage Site of Persepolis.

One of the most noteworthy pieces of Iranian history to be bid on in Christie's tomorrow sale is an Achaemenid limestone relief fragment from one of the eastern stairways of the Xerxes Palace which is part of the World Heritage Site of Persepolis. The piece which dates back to the first half of the 5th century B.C. was smuggled out of Iran and sold once before in Sotheby's New York in 1974.

The estimated price for the fragment is 200,000 to 300,000 British pounds, exceeding all other 95 items presented in the same sale.

The Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization has submitted a legal complaint to London court to stop the sale and retrieve the treasure to its homeland.

The Iranian items put on sale among other Islamic items in the sale of 26th of April include diverse pieces from a bronze mortar dating to the 12th century, to glass bottles, qalamdans (pen holders), gemset gold pendants, to an album of photographs of shrines and holy places dating to the Qajar era, two books from the Safavid era of Khamsa by the Iranian poet Nezami, to ancient Qurans, to a painting of Mirza Aqa Khan Nuri by the famous Qajar painter Abul Hasan Ghaffari, and many other less worthy pieces.

The estimated prices for the Iranian objects to be bid on in the "Islamic Art and Manuscripts" sale range from as low as 500 to as much as 50,000 pounds.

A North West Persian Kelleh from the first half of the 18th century, measuring 249x201 centimeters, with an estimated price of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds, and a Seirafian carpet from the central province of Isfahan, circa 1920, estimated to sell for 12,000 to 18,000 pounds are the Iranian pieces presented in the "Oriental Rugs and Carpets" put on sale on April the 28th.

... Payvand News - 4/19/05 ... --

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