Press Release by Iran Heritage Foundation
Iran Heritage Foundation announces the appointment of Dr John Curtis OBE FBA as Chief Executive Officer of IHF and IHF America with effect from 1st January 2014. Dr Curtis joins Iran Heritage Foundation from the British Museum where he was Keeper of the Middle East Department until 2011 and is currently Keeper of Special Middle East Projects.
file photo: Dr. John Curtis carrying the Cyrus Cylinder to the National Museum of Iran in Tehran
Vahid Alaghband, Chairman of Iran Heritage Foundation said: It is with great pleasure that the Trustees welcome Dr John Curtis into this leadership position at the IHF and IHF America. John is no stranger to the IHF family, having previously curated two of our major exhibitions with the British Museum. The IHF will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2015 and we look forward to John and his team making that an anniversary for us all to remember. The Trustees join me in thanking our colleague, Farad Azima, for his stewardship of the IHF during the past six years."
Farad Azima, outgoing Chief Executive Officer of IHF said: "I know that John will find the office of the CEO in good shape and IHF in ascendancy. I thank our Chairman for securing this most welcome appointment."
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said: "I congratulate John on becoming CEO of the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF). John has made an extraordinary contribution to the work of the British Museum as head of the Department of the Middle East and, over the past decade, through his outstanding engagement with the archaeology and heritage of Iraq which is now culminating in the opening of a new museum in Basrah. John has also been committed to increasing our understanding of the importance and significance of Iranian culture, most prominently through the creation of a new Iranian Gallery at the Museum and two ground-breaking exhibitions on Ancient Persia and the rule of Shah Abbas (both of which were generously supported by the IHF). I am delighted that he will continue to support the work of the British Museum with ongoing responsibility for special Middle Eastern projects.
The British Museum looks forward to continuing to work in collaboration with John and the Trustees of the Iran Heritage Foundation on future projects highlighting the varied and vital cultures of Iran."
Dr John Curtis said: "Over the last 18 years the IHF has done a great deal to promote the cultural heritage of Iran, and it is a great honour to be given the chance to build on that foundation. Together with the Trustees I look forward to initiating and supporting projects about all aspects of Iranian cultural heritage and raising awareness of the great contribution of Iran to world civilization."
About Dr John Curtis OBE FBA
John Curtis studied Near Eastern archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology in London and joined the British Museum in 1971. From 1989 to 2011 he was Keeper of the Middle East Department and since 2011 he has been Keeper of Special Middle East Projects. He specializes in the archaeology and history of Iran and Iraq from 1000 BC to 330 BC and has travelled and excavated extensively in both countries. He curated the special exhibitions ‘Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia’ (British Museum 2005-6) and 'The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: a New Beginning for the Middle East' that was shown in Tehran and is now touring the USA.He has written or edited more than 20 books and more than 100 scholarly articles. Seven of his books have been translated into Persian. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and was awarded an OBE in 2006. He is a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute and the Archaeological Institute of America. He was given special awards by the Iran Heritage Foundation in 2005 and 2013. He is married to Dr Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, curator of Middle Eastern coins at the British Museum, and they have two grown-ldquo;up children.
About Iran Heritage Foundation (www.iranheritage.org):
The Iran Heritage Foundation, a UK registered charity, is the leading supporter of Iranian studies in the UK. It promotes academic research through fellowships, grants scholarships and publications. In association with museums and leading universities the IHF organises exhibitions and convenes conferences on the history and contemporary culture of Iran.
HF fellows, curators and scholars have been appointed to the Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Museum, Tate Modern, The British Library, St Andrews University, Pembroke College Cambridge, Edinburgh University, Oxford University, SOAS and the Freer & Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institute.
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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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