the Great' Cylinder
courtesy of the British Museum)
Greats' cylinder is set to go on display in the
national Iranian museum for the first time once the
remodeling of the museum is complete, announced its
Mohammad Reza Kargar noted the holding of a touring
exhibition of 7000 years of Iranian art in Europe paved
the way for increased international cooperation. “We
seek to use international museums’ resources to hold
Iranian exhibitions abroad in return for displaying
objects not yet shown in Iran,” Kargar noted.
The national Iranian museum is supposed to raise awareness
about Iranian culture and civilization while displaying
objects from other countries in Iran, he continued. Kargar
remarked there were tentative plans for displaying a coin
collection from the Vienna museum of art, Mexican art and
culture in Iran, adding the British museum officials have
agreed in principle to hold an exhibition of the
museum’s Iranian civilization collection, chief among
them the reputed Cyrus cylinder, in Iran.
Yet, this was dependant on a remodeling of the museum
currently underway. Known as the world’s first charter
of human rights and peace, the cylinder was discovered by
a British Mesopotamia expedition member, called Hormuz
Rasam, in 1906.
Archaeologists initially thought it was written by a
Babylonian king. However, further research by scripture
specialists revealed it was written in 538 B.C. on orders
from the great Iranian Emperor Cyrus the Great the founder
of second Iranian dynasty and first Persian Empire, the Achaemenians, as he triumphantly entered Babylon.
The find gave credit to Cyrus the Great as the world’s
first initiator of human rights. The scripture starts with
an introduction of Cyrus, who adds he respected and did
not destroyed gods after he conquered Babylon.
Rather than going on rampage, killing people and
ransacking their belongings like his predecessors, Cyrus
let people go on with their normal life.
The main points of the cylinder are religious freedom and
abolition of slavery.