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The Cyrus Cylinder Tour Of The United States: Washington, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles -- March-December 2013


Source: Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF)

The Cyrus Cylinder, one of the most iconic treasures of the British Museum, often referred to as "the first charter of human rights", will travel to the United States for the first time, touring five major metropolitan centres.

The Cyrus Cylinder (see high resolution)

The tour is supported by the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF), which has collaborated with the British Museum on several high profile exhibitions and programmes over almost two decades, including Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia in 2005, and Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran in 2009.

The Cyrus Cylinder will be on display in an exhibition entitled "The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning." This touring exhibition is organised by the British Museum in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and in collaboration with four other major museums. The tour is officially underwritten and funded by IHF America in conjunction with sponsorships by a number of organisations and individual donors.

For the Cyrus Cylinder website click here.

Launch of IHF America

The Cyrus Cylinder Tour of the United States will mark the official launch of IHF America where we hope to reach millions of Americans and Iranians in the USA by supporting and promoting the arts and culture of Iran through local institutions, using the same model that we have used so successfully in the UK.

This tour will make its debut in Washington DC at the Freer Sackler on the 9th of March and will then be exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will be its next stop, followed by the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and finally the Getty Museum in Los Angeles . The Tour will then officially end mid December 2013.

Iran Heritage Foundation and IHF America owe a debt of gratitude to many people who have chosen to support and facilitate the Cylinder’s journey and its message of tolerance and inclusion, but the greater part of that thanks goes to the tireless teams at the British Museum and The Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian, without whom this tour would not have been possible.

We also wish to thank the Iranian American Community who supported this tour enthusiastically from the outset and with their large and small donations helped and supported IHF America.

On Tuesday 19th February IHF marked the departure of the Cyrus Cylinder to the US at the Rahim Irvani Ancient Iran Gallery, home of the Cyrus Cylinder at the British Museum. The special event was attended by patrons, benefactors and press and speeches were delivered by Dr John Curtis and Karen Armstrong, noted author and a trustee of the British Museum.

Visit IHF America website:

Read the article by Roger Cohen of the New York Times on The Cyrus Cylinder: Find the Missing Word

View the BBC Persian’s coverage of the Cylinder’s send-off at the British Museum: In Persian or In English

For more information, details of the venues and dates, latest news and coverage please visit the official website of the tour:

In particular we invite you to learn more about the Cyrus Cylinder, and its significance both in history and the contemporary world, by listening to the Director of the British Museum’s fascinating TED talk.

Tour Map British Museum Neil MacGregor
Tour Dates and Venues across the US Official Announcement from the British Museum TED talk by the Director of the British Museum

Tour Dates and Venues:

Gold Armlet (Oxus Treasure), 5-4th century BC, Achaemenid

Gold Armlet (Oxus Treasure), 5-4th century BC, Achaemenid

The Cyrus Cylinder will be accompanied by a number of important objects from the same period, including items from the British Museum's Oxus Treasure.

Gold bowl, 5th - 4th century BC, Achaemenid

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IHF receives its funding from individuals, businesses and philanthropic institutions. We accept no funds from any government or political organisation. Please support IHF by clicking on the link below. For other ways of giving, and for US donors please visit our Giving page.

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