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Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia” Tours England, France, and Germany


05 April 2005



A collection of some 150 items dating to the Achaemenid era is going to be displayed for a two-year period in England, France, and Germany. The exhibition entitled “Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia” starts its tour from the British Museum, London, running there from 8th of September 2005 to 8th January 2006.

The exhibition, which aims to introduce people to the culture, art, and civilization of Achaemenids, is the largest ever on Ancient Persia, the wealthiest empire in the Ancient Near East (from 550 BC to 330 BC). The historical items have been selected by a joint team of Iranian, English, French, and German experts from collections in possession of Iran’s National Museum, the British Museum, the Louvre, and the Vorderasiatisches (Ancient Near East Antiquities) Museum in Berlin. Representing features of the art and civilization of the Achaemenids of Iran have been the central concept for the selection.

According to director of Iran’s National Museum, Mohammadreza Kargar, a specialized catalogue, covering different aspects of the Achaemenid era, is going to be published with cooperation of Iranian, English, German, and French experts in four languages.

About eighty of the items to be displayed in the exhibition will be going to Europe from Iran, many of them leaving Tehran for the first time. Eight of the objects are now on display in another touring exhibition of the country, “7000 years of Iranian Art”, and will be sent to the British Museum as soon as they arrive in Iran from Portugal, the final destination of that collection.

Since Louvre has planned an exhibition of its own of the Achaemenid era, the Museum will not be actively taking part in the two-year exhibition, and according to Henri Loyrette, director of the Museum, it will just lend the exhibition a few items.





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