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Middle East

First human rights charter goes home

A Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world's first human rights charter is to go on display in Iran after the government threatened to cut ties with the British Museum if it did not loan the object.

The Cyrus Cylinder is a sixth-century BC clay object inscribed with an account in cuneiform of the conquest of Babylon by the Persian King Cyrus the Great. It arrived in Iran yesterday and will go on display in the coming days at Iran's National Museum for four months.

Iran said it was in a dispute with the British Museum for months over its request for a loan of the object and repeatedly threatened to cut its ties with the institution.