During the booming economy of Seventies in Iran, many foreign nationals came there to do business, work, or as tourist. In mid seventies, a group of French scientists visited our institution. They were guest of the Iranian Ministry of Health, and wanted to do research on viral infections transmitted by insects. They were stationed at Pasteur Institute of Iran (PIOI).
A few months later, I got a letter from a Western colleague. In his letter, he had mentioned that a group of his French Friends, who were doing research in Iran; were provided with car, driver, furnished apartments, high salary, and while traveling across the country to collect samples, they each have been able to collect some pieces of historical artifacts. He felt jealous of them!
I called PIOI, and asked a colleague to send me a copy of any paper or report of the work of the French group to the ministry. He told me that so far they have been traveling to various parts of the country to collect samples. I asked him to send me a copy of their report when available.
After a year or two, when some riot against the government started, all foreign nationals left Iran. I tried to get a copy of the research report of the French group to the ministry, and they told me that they only collected samples, and took the samples with them to France.
I don’t know what they did with the insect samples. But perhaps, some of the historical artifacts they collected are now safe and sound at the louver museum!