|Iran to Cut Ties with British Museum over Cyrus Cylinder Loan |
The Cyrus Cylinder, a 6th century B.C. clay tablet which is thought to be the world's earliest bill of rights. (detail). AP Photo/British Museum.
By: Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer
DUBAI (AP).- Iran said it will cut ties with the British Museum on Monday because of the museum's failure to lend Tehran an ancient Babylonian artifact described as the world's earliest bill of rights.
The spat over the loan has long festered between London and Tehran, and comes against the backdrop of increasingly tense Iranian-British relations.
Tehran is under heavy pressure from the West over its nuclear program, and has accused Britain and other foreign governments of interference in domestic policies and of stoking the country's postelection street protests.
The artifact is a 6th century B.C. clay tablet with an account in cuneiform of the conquest of Babylon by Persian King Cyrus the Great. It describes how Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and restored many of the people held captive by the Babylonians to their homelands.
Called the Cyrus Cylinder, it has been described by the U.N. Web site and elsewhere as the world's oldest human rights document.
According to officials in Iran, the piece was to have been lent to Tehran by Sunday for an exhibition agreed on by the museum and the Iranian government.
Vice President Hamid Baqaei, who is also the head of Iran's cultural heritage and tourism organization, was quoted by state Press TV as saying that the ties would be cut on Monday. It wasn't immediately clear if this has happened.
Baqaei said the British Museum's failure to keep its promise is "not acceptable."
He said the British Museum initially was to lend Tehran the Cyrus Cylinder last September but postponed the deal, citing technical reasons and the postelection unrest following Iran's disputed June presidential election.
"The Cyrus Cylinder has been turned from a cultural issue into a political one by the British," Baqaei said, adding that Iran "will sever all its ties with the British Museum, which has become a political institution."
Baqaei said Iran would send a protest letter the U.N. education agency, UNESCO, over the matter.
In October, British Museum spokeswoman Esme Wilson said the museum was preparing to send a member of staff to Tehran to discuss the loan.
In London, calls put in to the British Museum by The Associated Press were not immediately answered.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
February 9, 2010
Painting by Salvador Dalí, Made in the U.S., on Temporary Loan to the Dalí Foundation
Bob Dylan on Canvas: Exclusive Show of His Very First Works on Canvas
Nicolas Sarkozy's Father Exhibits Painting of Carla Bruni in Budapest
Gagosian Presents Major Group Exhibition Celebrating JG Ballard's "Crash"
Iran to Cut Ties with British Museum over Cyrus Cylinder Loan
Sotheby's Presents Its Second Sale of Turkish Contemporary Art
Anselm Kiefer Installation an International Coup for the Art Gallery of Ontario
Glasgow Art Fair 2010: Announces the 46 Selected Galleries
Celebrity Photographer Felice Quinto Dies at 80 in Rockville
Getty Announces Survey of Developments in Photographic Representations of Food
How Did Chinese Artists Learn and Practice Their Craft?
High Museum of Art Names Artist Renee Stout as David C. Driskell Prize Winner
Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin at The Imperial War Museum
Charles Ryskamp's Romantic Drawings on View at the Yale Center for British Art
Yona Friedman, Thomas Lommée, and Navid Nuur Exhibiti at Stroom
Leiden University's Unique Photography Collection on View at the Hague Museum of Photography
Award-Winning Portrait Artist, Laurel Boeck, Starts Year with Another Honor
Provocative Kenyan-Born Artist to Tear Up Gallery Walls at AGO
Rare Collection of Woven Sculptures and Baskets Donated to Museum of Arts and Design
Guggenheim Foundation and Heirs Amicably Resolve Ownership of Malevich Work
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci's extremely rare Viola Organista: the sound of genius
2.- After facing international criticism, Germany to put online 590 works from Nazi art trove
3.- Robert L. Oswald, Brother of Lee Harvey Oswald Disputes Last Week's Sale of Coffin
4.- Germany to return some works to Cornelius Gurlitt, hoarder of Nazi-era art trove
5.- Major exhibition of new works by artist and musician Bob Dylan opens at Halcyon Gallery
6.- In interview with Der Spiegel, Recluse defiantly stakes claim to Nazi-era art hoard
7.- Dallas Museum of Art presents first in-depth study of Edward Hopper's working process
8.- Switzerland pays heavy price for Van Gogh gift from businessman Oskar Reinhart
9.- Alex Prager's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. opens at the Corcoran Gallery of Art
10.- 3D printing 'will change the world'
Grayson Perry: "The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman" at the British Museum
The British Museum is the first UK arts organisation to publish its collection semantically
Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World at the British Museum Highlights Discoveries
British Museum to Manage Portable Antiquities Scheme, as Exciting New Finds Go on Display
Exhibition at the British Museum Brings Ancient Book of the Dead to Life
Picasso to Julie Mehretu: Modern Drawings from the British Museum Collection
British Museum Gets $38 Million Gift from John Sainsbury
Cyrus the Great Artifact to Be Displayed in Iran's National Museum
British Museum Celebrates Success of Public Service Partnership and Looks to the Future
British Museum Announces "Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead" Exhibition
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|