Tehran cuts ties with British Museum over Persian treasure
Monday 08 February 2010
Iran has cut all its ties with the British Museum over its decision to delay the loan of a 2,500-year-old Persian treasure, the Cyrus Cylinder, in the latest sign of worsening relations between Tehran and London.
The clay tablet is believed to be the world's first declaration of rights and the British Museum says it needs to keep it until the summer as experts have made a ground-breaking discovery that could lead to the decoding of missing text.
But Iran's state-run Cultural Heritage Organisation said the museum's decision was politically motivated. "[We have] cut all relations and co-operation with the British Museum," said the group's head, Hamid Baghaie, adding that Iran would incur considerable costs because of the delay. He said Iran would file a complaint to Unesco, the UN's cultural agency, because the British Museum had missed yesterday's deadline to hand back the cylinder.
A spokeswoman for the British Museum said the move was "a big surprise". "The British Museum has acted throughout in good faith, and values highly its hitherto good relations with Iran," she added.
The museum had promised to lend the Persian treasure to Iran for two months starting in January. But it delayed the loan until the summer so its experts could continue research on the cylinder, which is linked to Cyrus the Great's conquest of Babylon. He is regarded as one of ancient Persia's greatest historical figures. He captured Babylon, in modern Iraq, and freed Jews held captive there.
The row threatens to further deepen tensions between Britain and Iran, which are already at loggerheads over the Islamic Republic's nuclear-energy programme and the disputed presidential election last June.
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Israel-Gaza conflict: The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The missiles were tragically real
Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
Syria conflict: Syrian and Turkish Kurds unite to battle Isis threat - ‘We shoot them like sheep, but next day double the number return’
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
£450 - £500 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: PMO Manager - 6 month co...
£20 - £22 per hour + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Fund Administrator, Top Four ...
£7 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a better wo...
£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A Microsoft Dynamics CRM...