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Apadana Palace Topographic Maps Handed to London Court


27 April 2005


Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) handed Apadana’s topographic maps to the London court as another document to prove Iran’s ownership on Achaemenid soldier bas-relief.

The London Court ordered Christie’s auction house to withdraw the soldier, and gave Iran a one-week deadline to provide the court with necessary documents proving Iran’s ownership.

ICHTO Committee for Retrieval of Historical Objects has sent the court a documentary film of the excavations carried out in the area in 1933, the report of the archaeological team working there at the time, and other information found in different books so far.

“The documents were provided for the London court in a very short time. The court has not asked for other documents so far, but we are ready to present all other necessary documentations,” Mohamad Abdol-alipour, head of the committee told CHN.

According to Abdol-alipour, 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.

The experts measured the bas-relief on the site and it was proved that the bas-relief belongs to the stairway.

The Achaemenid soldier bas-relief, which was supposed to be sold in Chrisite’s auction on Apr. 25th, was sold in Sotheby’s auction house in 1974 for the first time.

A London-based lawyer follows the retrieval case and the representative of presidential legal office in Paris and London controls the process. According to head of the ICHTO’s Committee for Retrieval of Historical Objects, “The issue of Iran’s ownership for Persepolis is of importance, because the palaces in Persepolis were owned by governments and did not have any private owner. Persepolis is registered as a World Heritage Site, which emphasizes that Iran has owned this complex.”

All documents found in excavation and archaeological reports of excavations after 1932 in Persepolis prove Iran’s ownership, but according to Abdol-alipour, no conclusion time for the case can be specified and the bas-relief would be returned to the country after the legal process comes to an end.




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