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Persian mummies must be returned to Iran - Letter

Please provide your comments regarding the following letter. Moreover, if you are interested in signing the final version of this letter, please send an e-mail to Professor Mohammad Ala ( In addition, please provide your ideas (e.g., a name for a website) to Professor Ala to track the stolen properties. We need as many as you support this initiative as possible. Here is a draft letter for your comments and support (See updated note):

We, the undersigned are advocates of Iranian historical heritage. Over the years, many significant archeological finds have been smuggled out of Iran or simply stolen from Iran. In the past few years, these clandestine activities have presumably intensified to a point where jewels, royal crowns, and other historically valuable artifacts are taken out of Iran. Iran's history and its vast artifacts must not be sold in the streets of Karachi, London, Tel Aviv, or New York.

Those who visit Takhtah-e-Jamshid in Perspolis and Pasargard can easily notice that parts of the ruins have been taken away and the places where they are obvious have been covered. When guards were questioned, they indicated that these ruins are being repaired. Because of economic hardship, when incentives were given to these guards, they indicated that parts of the ruins have been taken to smuggle out of Iran by some agents in Tehran.

Recent visits to Iranian museums also demonstrate the disturbing fact that many historical finds are absent or taken away from these museums. Tourism is a major source of income for many countries. Iran must protect its historic assets at all costs.

An effort is underway to create an Internet Web site to document the stolen properties which now are transferred to locations and museums in Western countries. These archeological finds do belong to Iran and its people. Other countries and citizens of the world value them, but Iranians deserve to keep them in Iran. Besides source of revenue in tourism, they can provide many answers to contributions of Iranians to the world. According to the UNESCO Convention 1970, legal actions can be taken to return the stolen properties to Iran.

Recent news of five mummies in their sarcophagus which were stolen from Iran, and at present time are in Pakistan, concerns us a great deal. These mummies with the jewels and other valuable artifacts must be returned to Iran. If present museums in Iran are not interested in preserving and displaying archeological finds, there are millions of private Iranians and anthropologists who are very interested in preserving and keeping them in Iran.

Smuggling and stealing ancient historical finds must carry a heavy penalty so that no one will dare to steal or smuggle them out of Iran either because of economic reasons and/or trying to deny the historical contributions of Iran to the world.

Respectfully submitted by over twenty individuals

(A sample of signatures):

Dr. Mohammad Ala
Professor of Management
Director of Productivity Center

Dr. Davood Rahn
Professor of Chemistry
Pace University

Dr. Pake Parsi
Medical Doctor
Texas, USA

Dr. Mohammad Navab
Professor and Researcher
University of California Medical School
Los Angeles, California

Mr. Javad Fakharzadeh
President, ATE Consulting
Lexington, Massachusetts

Mr. Abbas Bozorgzad
Student Financial Services
California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Farzad Jahromi (See updated note)
Lecturer, School of Agriculture
Charles Sturt University New South Wales,

Mr. Khasha Ostovany

Updated note

Februyary 3, 2003

Dear Editor,

I received this letter by email from an Iranian-American academic (Prof. M. Ala), who asked me to support the statement. Naturally, at the time, I offered my support to this letter for the return of the mummies to Iran as I was willing to put an effort to salvage the Iranian historic heritage. These mummies were later discovered to be forgeries and, probably, an act of crime and murder.


Dr Farzad G. Jahromi
School of Agriculture
Charles Sturt University, Australia


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