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Mold of Achaemenid Soldier Empty Space to Be Handed to London Court


24 April 2005




The Iranian officials will provide the London court with the mold of the exact location of the Achaemenid soldier bas-relief in the stairway of Apadana Palace in Persepolis complex. The presentation comes upon the request of the London Court studying the case of the retrieval of the bas-relief to Iran.

Christie’s auctioneer in London included a limestone bas-relief of an Achaemenid soldier in its sale of 20th of April, with an estimated price of 200,000 to 300,000 pounds. The Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) submitted a legal complaint to a London court, asking for a halt on the sale and the retrieval of the item to its homeland.

The London Court ordered Christie’s to withdraw the soldier from its sale and gave Iran a one-week deadline to provide the court with the necessary documents proving Iran’s ownership of the relief.

The Committee for Retrieval of Historical Objects of the ICHTO has sent to the court a documentary film of the excavations carried out in the area in 1933, the report of the archaeology team working there at the time, and other information found in different books so far. However, upon the request of the court for more documents on the matter, the Committee is sending the mold it has taken from the exact location of the relief on the stairway of Apadana palace.

According to Abdol Alipour, director of the Committee for the Retrieval of Historical Objects, the Christie’s catalogue mistakenly introduced the relief as belonging to Xerxes palace. It is actually part of the northern section of the eastern stairway of Apadana, and the measurement of the empty space now in the stairway shows the exact location of the relief.





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