Cyrus can wait


Cyrus can wait
by Jahanshah Javid

The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most important historical documents in Iranian history. It also has special significance for humanity at large because it is one of the earliest declarations that recognizes certain human rights, such as religious freedom. I won't go far as calling Cyrus a champion of human rights. He certainly was no freedom fighting democrat! Nevertheless, he was one of the more enlightened dictators of his time.

Now that the British Museum has indefinitely postponed loaning the cylinder to the Islamic Republic, the question being asked by many Iranians is: who really owns ancient objects? Foreign museums or the country of origin? Are they safer in London or in Tehran?

Last night I posted a poll asking whether the British Museum should go ahead and loan the Cyrus Cylinder. For most of the day some 60% of the votes were against the loan. Then suddenly, in a couple of hours, hundreds of new votes were registered and reversed the result. We looked at our database and sure enough the poll had been compromised and the results reversed. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty that agents of the Islamic Republic or its supporters are responsible, but who else would tamper with the votes?

It is embarrassing for the Islamic Republic when a clear majority of Iranians -- at least among those living abroad -- oppose the display of such an important historical object in Iran. They oppose it not because they prefer the British to protect their heritage, rather they simply don't trust the current rulers in Iran.

The Islamic Republic does not have a distinguished record in protecting and preserving pre-Islamic monuments or objects. And with Cyrus turning into a symbol of a glorious era before the fall of the Persian Empire by the armies of Islam, it's hard to believe that the Islamic Republic has any real love for the Cyrus Cylinder. Would it be destroyed if it is loaned? I don't think so. But it could become the focus of another international showdown.

Relations between the two countries have never been great since the 1979 revolution and lately they have been deteriorating. Last June $1.6 billion of Iranian government assets in UK banks were frozen. Just a few days ago the British banned dealings with a major Iranian bank and Iran's largest state-run shipping organization. And of course Britain is a leading member of the Western alliance trying to put pressure on Iran to stop its uranium enrichment activities. If the cylinder is loaned to Iran under these circumstances, there's a good chance that the Islamic Republic would refuse to return it and take advantage of the people's historic mistrust of the British, as well as the popularity of the cylinder, to shore up its dismal popularity following the rigged elections.

I was pretty excited when I saw the real thing during my visit to London this summer. There were numerous other spectacular objects on display and I wondered: why are they here and not in Iran? It's only natural that almost every Iranian wants them permanently returned. But right now is not the best time.


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by timothyfloyd on



Saddam- 750,000 dead

by timothyfloyd on

Saddam- 750,000 dead Iranian's.340,000 dead Iraqi's.100,000 dead Kurds.500,000 dead Iraqi children from Sanction's.At least 60,000 dead Iraqi Dissidents and Shia's.


85,000 Iraqis killed in almost 5 years of war.

I can't argue that none of these death's should have happened.

ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

Wikipedia does a little qucik and dirty explanation of the theory SamSam was putting forward, here:


Educate yourself, for a change. It might feel good! :p


ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

Samsam jan

Oh, it's "Samsam jan" now is it? You just decide to brown-nose him whenever you want to enlist his support no matter how many times you insulted him in the past, eh? Have you no shame?

he's not Celtic!

You probably don't even know what the term means in any meaningful sense, Q. You clearly didn't understand teh theory that SamSam was proposing. Did you not notice his reference to the Visigoths? In any case, I'm not a Goth either. The Goths most likely came from the Island of Gotland in the baltic sea. My ancestors most likely came from the Island of Zealand, also in the Baltic, and from the south shore of the Baltic. SamSam's speculation was about where they came from, before that.

He's closer to the people who
killed the Celts in their invasion of Britain.

That's true, and I mentioned that in my first comment here. However, the Celts were already "fallen" by then. They were at their best in pre-Roman times. The Romans pretty much did them in both in Britain and on the continent long before my ancestors arrived.

You might want to revise
your love letter. Actually, even the Germanics had a lot of ties with

That's another theory trhat people love to talk about but can't provide much evidence of except what's based on linguistics. Might be so, might not be. We'll probably never know for sure.

Of course he's not going to correct you because he thinks
you're on his side. That's how childish things have gotten around here!

Q, I'm not like you. I actually enjoy debating people so long as things remian civil. I don't particularly liek it when everyone agrees with me. Nobody ever learns anything when they tune out conflicting opionions.... a libertarian academic such as yourself should understand that, no?

Edit: Actually I'm not sure if SamSam meant Visigoths or Ostrogoths.  Heu sed the term "easigoth" which sounds like "Visigoth"  but Vis is West and Ost is East in German, and he mentioned Eastern. So I probably got that wrong, but it doesn't really matter because both tribes have the same origins... the term east and west refer to which parts of the Roman Empire they invaded.


ex programmer craig

Anvar & SamSam

by ex programmer craig on

I personally believe all archeological artifacts of historical values
belong to all humanity and not particular groups.  That includes Greek,
Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Indian, Chinese, etc.

I think I agree with you. However, I think whenever possible artifacts should remain where they were found. To me, it's not so much about people because in most parts of the world (not necessarily so in iran, I don't really know) the people living someplace today are not the same people who lived there in antiquity. But artifacts give the land context, and the land gives the artifacts context. However, in cases where whatever government that controls the region in question can't be expected to care for them properly or can't be expected to provide access to them without playing political games, then I don't think there's really much expectation that they should be handed over anyway. Most of the global population simply won't go to Iran as toursists OR academics. It's not considered a safe toursist destination... especially for westerners. They may as well park the artifact on the moon. And then there's the whole issue of whether or not an Islamist regime is going to be a good custodian of pre-Islamic heritage. Is there any evidence they have been in the past? And I totally disagree with people who say antiquity belongs to whoever happens to be living in the same place in the modern age, no matter what.  I can think of many examples where trying to implement such a policy would be totally absurd.

SamSam, I'm fascinated by Celts because they were a very advanced people at a time when most other Europeans were quite primitive, and also because of how much ground they seem to have covered during their migrations. But, as far as I know the only thing Celtic about me is my first name :)

Thanks for all that info though. I've been reading up on the prehistoric tribal migrations of European peoples since I was a kid. The fisrt "serious" book I ever read was one of my father's college anthroplogy text books lol. The theories have changed many times in the intervening years, and my final conclusion is that nobody really has any idea what happened way back then. But it's fun to speculate :)

a pimp named slickback

Iraneh Azad, this does not answer the question

by a pimp named slickback on

sure, i know what the people here have said, and on the poll that was hacked. that's fine. but who is making the decision, not us. they have no right to the object.

if you say they do not "represent" iran, that means, nobody should have returned anything to iran ever. under the Shah, kings before that. that's why this is like a LICENSE to steal from our history, because that's exactly how they stole it the first time.

pet peev: please use "a pimp named slickback". you gotta say the whole thing, it's like "a tribe called quest."

Iraneh Azad

Mr. Slickback

by Iraneh Azad on

The issue here is not a country stealing. I would love it for this cylinder, and all other Iranian historical artifacts to be returned to Iran where they truly belong. Most below have said the same.

The IRI is asking the British to Loan the artifact to them and I, JJ, and the non die hard Islamic Republic supporter crowd who want to legitimize IRI existence with any political symbol, all agree that these clowns should not get it on a loaner.

They do not and should not represent Iran and Iranians.

a pimp named slickback

who IS legit?

by a pimp named slickback on

when did we ever have a legit representative? Mahmoud is sadly the closest thing!

I don't agree with you about this. according to this logic, people can steal from any country because its not legitimate.

Iraneh Azad

This is about the legitimacy of the IRI

by Iraneh Azad on

The IRI, through its actions in the past 30 years, is not the legitimate representative of Iranians and Iran. As usual, typical fake reformists and IRI excuse makers change the subject in order to try and legitimize the dirty hezbollahi government.

When Iran is free from the grip of these subhuman bigots, I am sure the British will let Iran borrow this holy cylinder.


What Irony…?

by Anvar on

Price of museum admission = $50 – Price of returning the Cyrus Cylinder = $50 million – Expressions on the faces of mullahs reading the praises to god Marduk = Priceless!

I personally believe all archeological artifacts of historical values belong to all humanity and not particular groups.  That includes Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Indian, Chinese, etc.  As such, they should be preserved with outmost care and enjoyed by all.  However, I think the main topic here is not ownership but loaning this item to another entity.

As mush as I would love to see the Cyrus Cylinder on Permanent display in a future Iran, I am adamantly against loaning this priceless item to the Islamic Republic.

Let us not forget that this regime, for the sake of expediency and strengthening of its base, invaded a sovereign nation’s embassy and kept 52 individuals hostage for 444 days.  I’m not sure they would treat a loaned piece of rock (from their viewpoint) any better.  

The Islamic Republic of Iran has already confiscated or destroyed many sites and places of worship of many Iranian minorities.  All it takes is for one zealous person to issue an order to destroy the Cyrus Cylinder too - like their cousins did to the Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan.

Besides, what irony are the proponents of loaning this artifact to the Islamic Republic trying to demonstrate?  That we have declined from such glorious civilization to such depth of ignorance and superstition?  When Cyrus the Great conquered foreign lands, he would treat the inhabitants humanely and allow them the freedom to worship as they wished.  The Islamic Republic has imprisoned its own religious minorities, not to mention all the killings of Iranians.  

What gall to have this regime put the first declaration of human rights on display!  

The Islamic Republic does not value what this artifact represents and knows full well that it will never come to its possession.  The manipulators know very well that this request would get turned down.  They’re just looking for a way to provoke their backward supporters to chant Death to xxxxx, in their otherwise useless Friday sermons.  

Having said that, I wouldn’t mind if an independent entity put a replica of the Cyrus Cylinder, with accurate translations, on display in Iran so that it may put the ones in power to shame.



Craig, you can't stand not being the center of attention?

by Q on

I said this thread is not about you. You've made it personal and about yourself by your original insulting remarks. You assume wrong. I didn't flag by the way, I usually prefer to answer. But in the middle of writing a reply, I noticed it was gone.

There was nothing offensive about my comment. It was just an observation.

Yes, I suppose we are all free to be delusional.

I'm sorry that I did not find the rest of your rant relevant enough to respond to.

Samsam jan, he's not Celtic! He's closer to the people who killed the Celts in their invasion of Britain. You might want to revise your love letter. Actually, even the Germanics had a lot of ties with Persians. Of course he's not going to correct you because he thinks you're on his side. That's how childish things have gotten around here!



by SamSamIIII on

My astute Celtic man, I don,t know what is it that you wrote but it seems whatever it was must have hit the right spot for seeds of Qadesiyeh & pan-Arab supremists. As you have smartly pointed out this ilk lineage & commitment is not for the cause of true Iran but acting 5th column of armies of Pan-Ummah.

btw* The eastern Celts tribes are the Iranic tribes of Cimmer or Cimmerians who gave their names to many easigoth east German tribes such as Cimbri. As well Ireland, Erin, Eireann or Eire represents probably the earliest place of settlement of the invading Aryan tribes from the east. The Irish mythology speaks of an early migration of Milesians(early Celts) into Ireland and according to Dr Ulick Bourke the similarities between them and the Iranic Icons of the era are so telling.

This theme is further emphasised by Peter Ellis, & authors of various books on Celtic origin ;

"To demonstrate some of the similarities of vocabulary between Old Irish and Persian we may refer to the following: arya[freeman, noble] in Persian & Sanskrit, from which that much maligned word Aryan comes from. In Old Irish, the cognate is aire meaning "a noble"." [The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends].

In addition to the Aryan connection with the name Ire-land there is also the equally explicit connection with Er-in, Eire, Eireann[pronounced `Aryan`. The Ar Aryan prefix is cognate with Ir and Er and many examples of such connections may be found in other Indo-European languages. What they have in common is their meaning-Land of the Aryans, which is linguistically the same as Aryavarta[Sanskrit] or Iran/Eran.the first element in the names Ire-land and Ira-n are the same liguistically.

The Aryan connection may also found in the names of some of the ancient Irish deities, eg Eremon. The name of this Irish god is cognate with Ariomanus a god from Celtic Gaul which in turn is cognate with the Sankrit Aryaman and the Iranian airyaman.[J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, The Oxford Introdution to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World].

According to Irish mythology Eremon was one of three Milesian leaders who set out for the conquest of Ireland. Initially he occupied the north but after a war he became victorious and ruled the whole of Ireland from the sacred centre of Tara.

Prior to this Ireland at one time was ruled by three Danaan kings. The wife of one of these kings was called Eriu. Her name has persisted through the course of time and in the dative form her name, Erinn is now a poetic name for Ireland or Eire.

Professor L. Austine Waddell writes: "And Ireland of the Irish-Scots has also its "Holy Isles", with very ancient remains, including a magnificent "prehistoric" fort of cyclopean masonry in the Hitt-ite style, in Galway Bay, and also significantly named "Aran" or "Arran",(also name of Azari tribes north of Arrass river) which like the name "Erin" and "Ir-land", in series with the "Airy-ana" or "Ir-an" or "Land of the Aryans" of the ancient Sun-worsipping Aryans in the Orient." [The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons]. ""


Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //

ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

Lastly, Craig, relax. Unfortunately once again, this is not about

What you directed at me by name was certainly "about" me.

As for what the rest is about, this is what you said in the title of your last comment:

This is politics not "heritage"


For you, Ostaad and Mola Nasredeen it certainly is politics and not heritage. More specifically it's nationalism and not heritage. And that doesn't make any sense when you claim that the Islamic Republic owns these artifacts because they are a part of a cultural heritage that the Islamic Republic cares nothing about. If i go out of my way to establish a complete break between me and the distant past, then how am I going to claim that distant past has some special meaning for me above and beyond the meaning it has for anyone else that places a high value on history? Makes no sense whatsoever.There's no doubt in my mind that a large majority of Iranians do associate themselves closely with ancient persia, but I don't think any of the powers that be in the IRI do. And, I don't think YOU do.

You can rephrase all you want and pretend my retort was just like
your insults, but the fact remains your offensive comment was removed
and the same editors left mine alone.

There was nothing offensive about my comment. It was just an observation. I have no idea why it was removed. Especially when your blatant bigotry against westerners remains. But, it's not my website. And I made that comment as an afterthought anyway. No big deal. That's nowehere near as bad as what used to happen when I'd particpate in a thread for 2 or 3 days and then come back to find everything I'd written was gone.

And by the way, I didn't flag your comment. I think I've only ever flagged a couple comments the whole time I've been here, and those were cases where somebody was engaging in obvious race-baiting using a fake ID.

I assume, however, that you fallged BOTH my comments. I assume that because you were crowing about one comment getting removed when in fact it was the other that got removed. Nice to see you believe in fair play, Q :P


the cyrus script belongs to British museum

by Abarmard on

And I don't believe we will ever get it back, unless the "right" price if offered. In the west, everything has a price.
Jahanshah, you can't judge guilty based on possibilities and intentions, as the west has done to Iran over the years. Israel uses the same logic to justify preemptive strike. You have to look at it historically and realistically without falling into sensationalism and all the goodies with it. I can agree with your opinion, but won't accept your assumptions as legal.
My opinion is that it is the British who are retaliating for something. You have mentioned what they are doing, also mention why are they doing it. That's action that can be judged, not possibilities and intentions. I would write in more detail but using my phone and typing sucks;)


This is politics not "heritage"

by Q on

Jahanshah, my post was not directed at your personally. However "right" you may be about the British being afraid to return it, this does not justify them holding on to it. As to the current government of Iran not being worthy, that can be debated either way, but what is beyond debate is that some foreign country, unilaterally determining that it is not worthy. It should be taken to a world court or UNESCO ruling for this.

Abarmard, you are right on the immediate case, but looming in the background is the bigger question of eventual ownership. I don't think you can say, even legally, that this artifact "belongs" to the British.

For years now, there has been a legal and cultural movement to return such artifacts to the countries of origin. Not just Iran, but Iraq, Egypt, Mexico and China have been heavily involved in trying to procure their stolen artifacts.

As a matter of fact the Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (see: // )
is very clear that stolen property must be returned to the country of origin.

The European museums, having obtained most of what they have from colonial invasions have been using all the tricks foot dragging to prevent the implementation of all these measures for selfish purposes. This is why it is as clear as day to me that what this is just an excuse. They have been giving the same kind of excuses to Egypt and China. They sometimes return objects grudgingly (see the return of the Ethiopian Obelisk after 50 years) because the political environment is not in their favor any more. But with Iran, for completely different reasons, it is in their favor, so they will bully Iran.

It doesn't matter what the Government of Iran is, they would find excuses to prevent the return of these artifacts. They will hold on to them as long as they can. Under current circumstances, if they get some support from some sucker Iranians living abroad and hating anything having to do with the IRI, of course they would take that help. Sadly there is no shortage of suckers but make no mistake as to why it is happening.

Lastly, Craig, relax. Unfortunately once again, this is not about you. You can rephrase all you want and pretend my retort was just like your insults, but the fact remains your offensive comment was removed and the same editors left mine alone. But in all fairness the language your are desecrating with what I'm affectionately calling "poetry" is not entirely your own heritage, it's actually about 50% French.

Also, the invasion of Afghanistan had nothing to do with any concern for artifacts or heritage. George Bush didn't seem to have a problem with the Taiban while he was dealing with them as a governor and early part of his presidency before 9/11, just as Reagan had done in the 80s.

Jahanshah Javid

Checks & balances?

by Jahanshah Javid on

Abarmard, there have been cases where museums HAVE returned objects to the country of origin. Greece has been in a legal battle with the UK for years for the return of statues taken from the Acropolis. And my prediction is that one day they will be returned.

You say there are checks and balances to ensure that the loaned items are returned by Iran. Yes there are. But you think the Islamic Republic cares about these checks and balances if it decides not to return the cylinder? I can picture what could happen: Ahmadinejad calls the British thieves, rallies the people who are naturally in favor of keeping the cylinder and the British Museum can do nothing about it. Hala biya o dorosesh kon... another bogus confrontation.

No ancient Iranian object of significance should be loaned as long as this regime is in power. The Islamic Republic has destroyed its own reputation and no sane person, organization or government should trust it with something that could give it an excuse to start an artificial confrontation. 

Again I remind you that the Islamic Republic has every political reason to renege on its promises to the British Museum: The UK government has blocked Iranian assests, banned dealings with an Iranian bank and shipping line, and is backing the US in closing down Iran's enrichment activities. These are all good reasons to retaliate and refusing to return the cylinder would be the perfect move that would have popular support.


Again, there is a misunderstanding

by Abarmard on

This piece is not, was not, and never will be for Iran. Iran has no right to this piece. This piece was supposed to be loaned to Iran, and Iran has to return it once it was displayed in their museums. Similar to loaning any other piece, it will be brought to Iran by the British crew, and once done will be taken back by them.

It's historically impossible to hold on a to something that doesn't belong to you (in museum borrowing, and displays), otherwise museums never loan anything to any countries, specially "troubled" countries. But they do. There are a lot of checks and balances in place that you guys are ignoring.

Some still act as if this piece is an Iranian piece. IT IS NOT. This has been taken from Iran but it does not belong to Iran. It will never belong to Iran. From the "loaning the piece" perspective, make your comments. 

Jahanshah Javid

Q & A

by Jahanshah Javid on

Q, you asked what right do westerners have to hold it? I already said all these objects belong to Iranians and must be returned some day. In this particular situation the Islamic Republic has not asked for their permanent return, but to borrow them temporarily.

You say the Taliban destroyed priceless buddhist statues and the west didn't lift a finger. What could the west have done when it happened? Are other countries responsible for what a fanatic regime does to its own heritage? Do you know what the Taliban did to many of the objects in the national museum in Kabul? Google it. I suppose you would also have no problem with the Taliban demanding foreign museums return pre-Islamic objects to Afghanistan. You would trust these objects in their hands?

The Islamic Republic has not been as bad as the Taliban -- so far -- but after the elections militarist elements have taken control and their behavior is not encouraging. They are more interested in building a highway to Emam Zaman's well in Jamkaran and building dubious Emam Zadehs across the country.

You asked if I am going to go after the hackers of the poll and file charges. I do not know where the hackers are, although all fingers point to inside Iran. Even if they were in the US and I could find who they are and where they
live, I don't have the thousands of dollars to take them to court. I will leave justice to the God they so pretend to believe in.

ex programmer craig

PPS to my little friend

by ex programmer craig on

The Taliban destroyed priceless bhuddist statues and the west didn't lift a finger.

Really? And yet, you recall it... and so do I... and so does virtually everyone else on the planet. And how many people objected when the US invaded to topple the taliban in 2001, Q? How many countries protested? How many countries supported the invasion? How many countries (or individuals for that matter) will come out publicly to support the Taliban today?

It seems to me that not just the west but the entire world has made their objections to Taliban barbarity heard loud and clear.

ex programmer craig

Also, Q

by ex programmer craig on

Don't you agree with me that it's a bit strange for that crew to be claiming they care about ancient Persia, after the amount of abuse they've heaped on SamSam for writing about ancient Persia? I think even you must see teh irony there, right?

And thanks for the offhand "Anglo-Saxon potery" crack directed at me. It fits in nicely with the other insults you directed at westerners in your comment. Do you think bigots are good custodians of cultural artifacts, Q? Even when they come from an entirely different culture, such as Zoroastrian ancient Persia as opposed to Arabized Islamic Iran? Can a bigot be trusted to care for the ancient treasures of a culture he loathes?


ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

PS. Editors, thanks for deleting Craig's latest "Anglo Saxon" poetry.

The only thing I see taht's missing is that one-liner when I remarked how bizarre it seemed for Mola Nasreedeen and ostaad to be pretending they cared more about ancient Persia than SamSam does.

Speaking of that, my understanding is that Cyrus was Zoroastrian? How many Zoroastrains are living in Iran today?


These SOBs wanted to flood "Takhte Jamshid"

by Faramarz_Fateh on

2 years ago, the IRI bastards wanted to flood Takhte Jamshid; remember that?  Now they want the cylinder?!!


Oh Pallllease...

by Q on

What right do the Westerners have to hold it? Who are they to say who is "worthy"? If this was an Arab or Chinese monument, nobody would say anything. The Taliban destroyed priceless bhuddist statues and the west didn't lift a finger. By contrast Iran has better museums than many other countries, that's money it is spending right now on ancient artifacts.

People who want to give into this kind of bullyism, and pretend the British have Iranian "interest" in mind are the same people who let it go in the first place. The same people who see themselves as unworthy compared to Euro-Americans.

Any country could be "seen" as unworthy by any number of people. Any country could undergo a coup or a revolution or war at any time. Who is the west to make the rules?

A 80 foot high Ethiopian Obelisk, stolen by Westerners just like this piece. It was given back to Ethiopia from Italy just a few years ago. Ethiopia has been to two wars since that time.


PS. Editors, thanks for deleting Craig's latest "Anglo Saxon" poetry.
PPS. Are you going after the hackers? Why not file charges?

che khabar e

an excellent analysis by JJ

by che khabar e on

I agree 100%.  This is not the time to return them.  But I have one question. 

Why would it be considered a loan to begin with?  Oh, I know technically it's because it was a british archaeologist who found it but I guess I just don't follow the theory that it belongs to the UK.  My personal opinion?  It shouldn't just be "loaned" to Iran... it should be GIVEN back to Iranians. 

But not now.


IRR must first pass the test of

by ahmad_ on

IRR must first pass the test of being worthy and capable of a good custodian to this priceless artifacts.

When we can see that IRR has provided neccessary care to what is already in their possession then we can agree to have the cylinder loaned or even returned to Iran.

And this test must be evaluated by comparison between how they look after the artifacts in Iran and the way other countries take care of their historical sites and artifacts.

I remember a few yrs ago the Malasian Minister of arts and culture visited Iran and after visiting Isfahan and Shiraz, she cried about how careless Iranian official are about the upkeep of the historical sites.

She mentioned that if Malasia had 1/10 of the such historical sites, they would have made much more that Iran from Tourism Industry.

ex programmer craig


by ex programmer craig on

I have mixed feelings when it comes to ancient artifacts and who "owns" them. It's difficult for me to put myself in someone else's shoes to see how they'd feel about it since my family has lived in North America for several centuries, and lived in England before that. But they came to Britain as invaders, so I can't even use British artifacts from the ancient world as a personal case test. And somebody else lives in the original homeland of my ancestors now, so that doesn't work either. So what I have tried to do is try to extrapolate forward.

The closest thing I can think of to the Cyrus Cylinder in a moderm American context is the US Declaration of Independence. I'll assume in 2 or 3 thousand years somebody from East Asia "discovered" the Declaration of Indepence in some buried chamber on the East Coast of North America. I'll also go ahead and assume that the United States is long gone by then, and the inhabitants of North America have gone through several (or more) iterations of nationality. Probably accompanied by substantial physical turnover. Migrants from other regions, invaders, etc.

Would it be wrong for the Asians who found the Declaration of Independence in their homeland? Or would it be the correct and moral thing to do to return it to the people of North America, even though they have little (if any) relationship to the government and culture of the United States?

It's not really clear to me, even as a proud American, under those circumstances. I'm not sure I would really want the people of future North America, who have nothing to do with the US or its history and culture, to be making a special claim on US artifacts.

So that doesn't really help much. I'll try something from the more recent past, then. The Eastern (Greek Speaking) Roman Empire only fell ~500 years ago, so it doesn't qualify as ancient history. Should the artifacts of that empire automatically go to the Turks? Even though the Turks were invaders? Even though they invaded with the intent of destroying both that empire and the religion that was practiced by the people living there? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me.In fact, it seems to me that the world has a moralresponsibilty to try to protect the greek/christian artifacts of the Byzantine empire from the Turks to the greatest degree possible.

That last example doesn't work 100% for Iran, because "persia" continued to exist to some extent after the Arab/Islamic invasions. But it works partially, in my opinion. The Islamic rulers of Iran are likely to have little love for pre-Islamic cultural artifacts, as you pointed out.

Mola Nasredeen

Iraq government: 85,000 Iraqis killed from 2004 to 2008

by Mola Nasredeen on

And many among us trust the British more than Islamic Republic of Iran. With friends like that who needs an enemy? What a farce!

Bahram G

Not Now

by Bahram G on

Whatever is the motive of the mullahs for wanting to borrow the cylinder, I can't hardly surmise. What concerns me is that some zany Islamist might get his hands on it and destroy it. There are a lot of these mentally-ill fanatics who do abhor our pre-Islamic past and will happily do anything to wipe it out.

So, JJ, you are right. This is not the time to hand this priceless relic to the mullahs.


All stolen goods must be...

by Ostaad on

returned to their original owners, period. It's the law not an opinion.


Agreed & to the point

by SamSamIIII on

 he was one of the most enlightened icons of his time.


 it's hard to believe that the Islamic Republic has any real love for the Cyrus Cylinder. Would it be destroyed if it is loaned? I don't think so. But it could become the focus of another international showdown.

True, they will use it as blackmail chip. One only needs to look at Behdasht(Shahpour I built city) remains which is now being used by drug addicts and used as feeding ground for herds of Goats & sheeps to find out the extent of Qadesiyeh regime affinity for true Iran.

& it,s ironic that a  regime that systematicaly distorts Kianni heritage, bans Cyrus & other pre-Qadesiyeh icons from school books, bans patriotic works of the likes of beloved Ferdowsi and doesn,t even allow a small group to hold vigil on int,l Cyrus day is so keen to recieve thisartifact. Emamo doost nadareh valii imamzadeh ro areh.

If they realy care just make a replica and celebrate his achievments.


Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //