Iran seeks return of 1,300 stolen artifacts

Tehran Times – Iran earnestly seeks the return of some 1,300 historical relics, which have been previously smuggled out of the country, tourism chief said on Saturday.

Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan said that the country is following up on the return of a package containing as many as 1,300 stolen historical items, voicing hope that the process would wrap up by the end of September, Mehr reported.

“Iranian nationals living abroad have done a good job in recognizing stolen Persian artifacts that were about to be sold in auctions, and informing Iranian officials about it in time.”

The process of returning the artifacts home has been on a growing trajectory, he said, adding that as many as 1,540 historical items have [so far] been recovered from the U.S., UK, Belgium and the UAE since the 2000s.

In May 2016, the organization issued a call for assistance, asking Iranians abroad to inform it in case of tracing smuggled artifacts and antiquities of Iranian heritage.