Return of large haul of Iran’s stolen artifacts to home in post-sanctions era

Tehran, May 9, The Iran Project – Large haul of Iran’s stolen artifacts that had been smuggled out of the country returned home over the last few years especially in the post-sanctions era.

In the latest attempt of Iranian authorities to return stolen artifacts to the country, Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday that 73 pieces of antiquity belonging to the Sassanid era have been returned home from US.

The invaluable antique shipment that had been smuggled out of the country was delivered to the Iranian Embassy in New York, and then transferred to the country in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These highly valuable pieces of antiquity are the fourth historic shipments that have been returned to the country over the past few years.

And, according to Mohammad-Hassan Talebian, deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization, they will be exhibited at the national museum of Iran (NMI) in the near future.

 73 pieces of antiquity belonging to the Sassanid era have been returned from the US to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

73 pieces of antiquity belonging to the Sassanid era have been returned from the US to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Last year, Italy also returned to Iran some 30 stolen artifacts that had been smuggled to the European country during the past 10 years.

The ancient Iranian artifacts comprised of items belonging to Iran’s pre- and post-Islamic era, had been recovered by the Italian art police and was handed over to a representative from the Iranian Embassy in Italy.

Before that, in Dec. 2014 a collection of over 300 artifacts discovered in Khurvin, having been kept in Belgium for 50 years, were finally returned to Iran following a verdict by the court of appeals in Belgium. The stolen artifacts comprising of 221 clay and 128 bronze antiques are some 3000 years old.

Attending the unveiling ceremony of the Iranian heritage properties, having been illegally transferred to Belgium, President Rouhani stressed the significance of the Iranian artifacts and said that they reveal various aspects of the country’s great civilization several thousand years ago.

And last but not the least, another Iranian artifact that was returned by the United States to the country was an ancient silver chalice, depicting a griffin, a so-called mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, described in many cultures around the world.

In October 2103, the US returned the 2700-year-old Persian griffin during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to New York to attend the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.