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Iranian Cultural Heritage NGOs Protest French Minister About Illegal Sale of Relics


News Category:

Cultural Disaster

18 December 2003



A group of Iranian NGOs, involved in advocating cultural heritage, sent an open letter to the French culture and communication minister, calling for a ban on trade of relics stolen from the Jiroft historical area in southeastern Iran and their restitution.

Addressed to Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the letter urges him to take action in order to fight international trade in historical relics from the Jiroft area.

"We have to ask you and your country to fight those involved in the international smuggling of Iranian cultural assets to France and ban their trade," the letter said.

Signed by some 15 Iranian cultural heritage associations, it complains about the sale of several antiques by French auction houses, warning about France becoming a market for illegal trade in Iranian national heritage.

"The public opinion in Iran is following news regarding the sale of Iranian cultural-historical relics, in particular those obtained in illegal excavations, in France with concern, believing it will damage relations between the two countries," it concluded.



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