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Photos: Unveiling Of The Cyrus Cylinder In Tehran


Photos by Azadeh Abdollahnejad, Mehr News Agency, Tehran

The Cyrus Cylinder was unveiled during a especial ceremony on Saturday at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

The dispute between Iran and the British Museum has been settled as the museum has finally loaned the Cyrus Cylinder to the National Museum of Iran for four months. The artifact arrived in Iran on Friday along with a BM delegation led by the Curator, BM Department of the Middle East, John Curtis, Iranian media announced on Friday.

The Cyrus Cylinder was unveiled during a especial ceremony on Saturday at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

"The British Museum had previously said that it was ready to send the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran, but the National Museum of Iran had to make the necessary arrangements for transporting the artifact," National Museum of Iran curator Azadeh Ardakani said.

The cylinder was to be put on display in an exhibition at the National Museum of Iran on January 16, but officials at the BM said a week before the date that there would be a delay in sending the artifact.

The British Museum said that the decision to postpone shipment of the artifact to Iran was made due to a recent discovery of two cuneiform tablets, which contain passages with remarkable similarities to those found on the cylinder.

But Iran saw political reasons for the delay as it occurred in the wake of turmoil following Iran's disputed presidential election.

Consequently, Iran cut all relations and cooperation with the BM and the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization announced that it planned to seek compensation from the British Museum over its refusal to loan the country the Cyrus Cylinder.

Iran has not published an announcement or comment about the resolution of the dispute between the country and the BM over the Cyrus Cylinder.

BM director Neil MacGregor was scheduled to join the delegation on Friday night.

"You could almost say that the Cyrus Cylinder is the history of the Middle East in one package.

"It is a link to a past that we all share and to a key moment in history that shaped the world around us."

The cylinder was discovered in 1879 by the Assyro-British archaeologist Hormuz Rassam in the foundations of the Esagila, the main temple of Babylon. Today, it is kept in the British Museum in London.

The artifact was last displayed in Iran 40 years ago.

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