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Monday, 13 September 2010

Cyrus cylinder, world's oldest human rights charter, returns to Iran on loan

"A Babylonian artefact sometimes described as the world's first human rights charter is to go on display in Iran after Tehran threatened to cut ties with the British Museum if it did not lend the object.
The Cyrus cylinder is a 6th century BC clay object inscribed with an account in cuneiform of the conquest of Babylon by the Persian king Cyrus the Great. It arrived in Iran today and will go on display soon at Iran's national museum for four months, state TV reported.
Iran said it was in a dispute with the British Museum for months over its request for a loan of the object and had repeatedly threatened to cut ties with the institution. At one point, a senior Iranian cultural official accused the museum of turning a cultural issue into a political issue.
The loan discussions, which began last October, took place during a time of tension between the two countries. Tehran is under pressure from the west over its nuclear programme, and it has accused Britain and other foreign governments of interfering in its domestic policies by stoking the street protests that followed the disputed presidential election in June 2009."
I hope the Ayatollahs don't destroy it... or take it on a "definitive" loan...

What I don't get is, why are they so interested in this object, when they have said that Human Rights have no place in Islamic theology and they are not very fond of pre-Islamic art, including Cyrus' legacy?

Read "Honoring Cyrus the Great and his Charter". Pro-democracy activists in Iran are not very fond of this move by the British Museum...

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