is trying to get back from Turkey its 310 ancient
artifacts, including a golden laid Bible inscribed
on gazelle hide, priceless rugs, and some ancient
Following talks to sign an agreement between
Tehran and Ankara for retrieval of cultural
heritage, the case of returning some 310 ancient
artifacts, Iranian rugs and coins smuggled to
Turkey is understudy and Iran is hoping to get
back its heritage back home.
During the recent years, Turkey has been one of
the target markets of smugglers of Iranian
artifacts. Four cargos of Iranian treasures have
been sent to the country in the past years, and
now four legal cases are understudy in Turkish
courts to retrieve the pieces.
The first case is for 298 pieces now kept in a
museum in Turkey; the second for two silver works
sold to a private Turk collector in Istanbul,
which according to an Interpol report, were
discovered in 1992 from a bus traveling to Turkey
from Iran. The Turkish court studying the case has
ruled in favor of the Turkish collector. But Iran
intends to retrieve the silver works dating to the
6th and 8th century BC accordingly with the 1970
convention of UNESCO.
The third case involves the return of an ancient
golden laid bible, two stone sculptures, and two
ancient coins, and the forth involves that of a
collection of Iranian rugs and carpets.
The Turkish court ruled in 1997 that the carpets
just had designs similar to Iranian works, but had
been woven in Turkey, so they were given back to
their Turkish owner. However, the Iranian cultural
Heritage is still trying to prove the case.
Considering the signing of new agreements between
Iran and its neighboring countries to prevent the
smuggling of artifacts, talks were held in
December 2004 between Iranian and Turkish
officials covering the four cases of smuggled
artifacts and the new agreement for cooperation to
prevent the smuggling of cultural heritage and
their retrieval to their home countries.
The talks have been successful and the agreement
is soon to be signed.