12 October 2009

Britain and Iran on collision course... sort of


Running separate to the furore over June’s stolen election, or its nuclear ambitions Britain and Iran are in a furious (well sort of) war of words over an important cultural artefact.

According to the BBC the Iranian government has said it will cease cultural co-operation with the British Museum unless a treasure known as the Cyrus Cylinder is loaned to the nation.

A British Museum statement said its trustees have "reaffirmed their intention to lend the Cylinder to Iran" but added that "there are a number of issues and practicalities to be resolved, but the intention is to send it as agreed."

Mr Baqaie said Iran's Cultural Heritage Organisation would consider severing ties with the British Museum if the piece was not loaned to them within two months.

The object, which is around 2,500 years old, was ordered to be made by Persian king Cyrus. It is said to represent the first bill of rights and encapsulate religious toleration.

Given that many of the artefacts at the recent Shah Abbas exhibition came from Iran so it is only fair that an important item is loaned to Iran. After all it was hardly dredged up from the Thames riverbed...

13 comments:

Ellee Seymour said...

Give Greece its Elgin Marbles back too!

jams o donnell said...

Personally I think the could go back. HTey would look far better in context

CherryPie said...

The British Museum have charge of a lot of controversial pieces.

jams o donnell said...

That's very true Cherie. I do thinks it would not hurt for some to go bacj to their countries of discovery. The Elgin marbles to mee look like some sterile and mutilated pieces of sculpture. Perhaps they would be better if reunited with teh missing pieces back in Athens

Pouty Lips said...

I don't think the Greek government is going to give up until the marbles are returned.

susan said...

If the British Museum had to return all the stolen artifacts they'd have lots of space to house England's rising crop of graffiti artists.

jams o donnell said...

I doubt they will Pouty Lips...

Ha you are quite right Susan!

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

Hmmm...

The Iranian government throwing a hissy fit over an artifact that represents religious tolerance...

Anyone else see irony here?

jams o donnell said...

Indeed. but Islm does allow tolerance for religions of teh "Book".. often not honoured sadly and don;t be, say a Baha'i in Iran or you are in deep shit

James Higham said...

Mr Baqaie said Iran's Cultural Heritage Organisation would consider severing ties with the British Museum if the piece was not loaned to them within two months.

i would say Mr. Baqaie can get knotted.

jams o donnell said...

I've got no fundamental problem with the cyliner being loaned but it is a silly spat

SnoopyTheGoon said...

To be fair, yes, you are absolutely right Jams. However, what could happen to British Museum (and some royal treasures) if a precedent is created, I couldn't even start guessing.

On the other hand, I can think of a few other cylindrical (roughly) objects the current Iranian rulers have coming to them ;-)

jams o donnell said...

It is a loan rather than a return Snoopy but perhaps precedent could be set with other items.

As for those items, point them at Khamenei and Ahmadinejad and not my friends!