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Stolen Swords of Mellat Palace-Museum to Return to Iran

Tehran, Jan. 25 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) - Stolen swords belonging to the collection of the mother of the Second Pahlavi King, will return to Iran from neighboring Azerbaijan tomorrow.

One of the stolen swords date back to the Qajar era and the other which is decorated with diamonds and rubies belongs to Simon Bolivar, the South American revolutionary leader.

Simon Bolivar's Sword

The swords were stolen from Mellat palace-museum in the Saadabad Complex in 1996 and are to be returned to Iran by a high commission from the Azerbaijan Republic tomorrow.

The swords were identified in a previous trip to Azerbaijan and the documents proving Iran's ownership were presented to the Azerbaijan officials, Director General of Saadabad Complex, Mohammad Abdol-alipour told CHN, adding that the legal matters for returning the swords to Iran are now complete and they will be handed to officials of Mellat Museum in a ceremony tomorrow.

When the swords were stolen from the museum 8 years ago, their characteristics were given out to the Interpol and with the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization following the matter seriously, they were finally found two years ago in Baku, capital of the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to the latest news, the Iranian and Azerbaijani officials are discussing the matters to sign a new legal protocol to fight international trafficking of cultural heritage. Signing such protocols with countries of the region is Iran's new policy to help prevent the trafficking of cultural heritage. The first protocol was signed with Turkey and the one with Azerbaijan is the second in such series.

"Our most important aim of signing such protocols is to prevent the export of trafficked objects to Europe. Previous experiences have shown that regional cooperations can speed up their return process to the country," ICHTO legal and international deputy, Taha Hashemi, told CHN.

... Payvand News - 1/26/05 ... --

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