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