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1/27/07

London Court to Officially Announce its Verdict to Iran

By Soudabeh Sadigh
 
In a recent court hearing held in London, Iran lost the legal battle over bas-relief of an Achaemenid soldier from the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis. The Court’s final ruling will be delivered to Iranian authorities in an official statement.
 

Tehran, 27 January 2007 (CHN) -- In a formal statement, London’s High Court will be delivering its recent ruling on bas-relief of the Achaemenid soldier, which was announced on Jan. 19, 2007, to Iran in two weeks.
 
According to Omid Ghanami, director of the Legal Department of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), the Organization is waiting to receive the written verdict to make follow-up decisions. He also said that Iran wills take actions against the court’s ruling if given the right to object to the final decree.
 
“ICHTO has been informed orally of the decision of the court but we are waiting for a written statement which will be given to us in two weeks,” said Ghanami.
 
Iran lost the legal battle last week in London’s High Court over the bas-relief of the Achaemenid soldier from the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis carved in limestone.
 
The relief was unearthed during archeological excavations in 1933 and was sold in 1974 in an auction in New York. The then government of Iran did not take any legal action to stop the piece from being auctioned off and so the bas-relief was sold to Denyse Berend, a French collection owner who kept the piece for 30 years in her private collection in France.
 
Following the news about the resale of the Achaemenid bas-relief in Christie’s auctioneer, Iran formally voiced its objection through submitting a legal complaint to the London Court asking it for a halt on the sale and the retrieval of the item to its homeland.
 
To prove Iran’s ownership of the Achaemenid relief whose sale on Christie’s was halted by the court order, a documentary film and pictures of the excavations carried out in Persepolis in 1933 and a complete report of the archeology team working there were submitted to the London Court by ICHTO Committee for Retrieval of Historical Artifacts.
 
Considering that the Achaemenid bas-relief has already been sold in New York auction, the authorities of Christie’s auctioneer claim that the resale of the bas-relief is not forbidden and therefore could win the court’s ruling last week.
 
Court of London Ignores Iran’s Ownership of Achaemenid Bas-relief
 

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