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Iran Seeks Return of Borrowed Artifacts From Chicago’s Oriental Institute


25 May 2005



Iran has renewed efforts to recover historical artifacts which were discovered in the Choghamish region of Khuzestan in 1963 and entrusted to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago but never returned to the country.

According to a report issued by the International Department of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) on Wednesday, Iranian and American archaeologists unearthed the region in a joint excavation project in 1963.


The head of the American team had asked for additional studies on the items. The request was approved by Iran’s cabinet, and the artifacts were sent to the institute for three years of study.


Some of the items were sent back after three years, but the rest are still in the United States, although the institute was supposed to return all the artifacts.


The CHTO has recently prepared an appeal to present to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for the return of the artifacts.


In addition, the National Museum of Iran has announced that it suffered a loss of $377,125 due to the 39-year delay in delivering the items.


Iran also recently sent an a appeal to a Belgian court asking for the return of nine boxes of smuggled ancient artifacts and a 2800-year-old pin stolen from the exposition “7000 Years of Persian Art”.


Iranian officials recently resumed efforts to recover artifacts taken out of the country which have not been returned.  





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