In 1971 the Princess of Iran Ashraf Pahlavi, sister of Shah Reza Pahlevi, presented the United Nations Secretary General U Thant with a replica of Cyrus Cylinder, an 2500 years old archeologic artefact that Hormuzd Rassam, an Iranian-British archeologist had excavated in 1879. In the late 1960s the Cylinder gained new prominence when the last Shah of Iran called it "the world's first charter of human rights".
The cylinder was a key symbol of the Shah's political ideology and is still regarded by some commentators as a charter of human rights, despite the disagreement of some historians and scholars. He wrote that "the history of our empire began with the famous declaration of Cyrus, which, for its advocacy of humane principles, justice and liberty, must be considered one of the most remarkable documents in the history of mankind."
At the top of the UN protocol about the ceremony are some handwritten remarks, which show that even in the supreme international organisation some people had difficulties in not mixing historical characters and places of the mideastern hemisphere. Instead of linking Iran to the "Edict of Cyrus", they "newly invented" an "Edict of Cyprus". It would be interesting to find out if a copy of this protocol was ever forwarded to the Shahs palace in Teheran, maybe with a post-it saying "For your information"!!
This typo remained unnoticed for more than 40 years, although the protocol must have been available in the web since several years.
The entire UN protocol can be found here.
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