(CAIS) -- Systematic thefts of antiquities from
Iranian museums and their sale to Western museums are
causing deep concern, the Persian daily Jaam-e Jam
reported on Monday.
The daily noted that a national campaign should be
organized against the network formed by burglars of
artifacts from Iranian museums and the justice system is
expected to take firm action against those attempting to
trade “the nation’s historical identity by stealing
antiquities and exchanging them with money“.
“Three years ago, artifacts of Iran Ancient Museum,
including golden plates with inscriptions, were stolen and
thieves stole a very precious painting from Golestan
Palace as well as a rare Safavid carpet from Iran Carpet
Museum.The theft of antiquities continued when an
invaluable handwritten copy of a Qur’an attributed to
Ali ibn Abitalb was reported from a museum of Shiraz,“
Police investigations on thefts from Iran Bastan Museum
indicated that professional dealers of artifacts are
making criminal efforts to steal antiquities. They
revealed new dimensions of the theft following its legal
action against the burglary of eight ancient seals stolen
from Iran Bastan Museum. It also lent weight to the theory
that there was collusion between some staffers of the
museums and the thieves.
Police also revealed that in some cases the original
artifacts were changed with a fake, which indicates an inside
job. They pointed out that the alleged thieves have been
identified as regular visitors of the museums.
The suspicion against certain staffers of museums
increased after the statue of a wild goat unearthed from the
Burnt City was found from the warehouse of a gallery after
a police raid. “The statue of the goat has been returned
to the museum,“ the daily said.
Jaam-e Jam further said that following the latest case of
theft from Iran Bastan Museum, people from all walks of
life contacted the newspaper and urged Tehran’s
prosecutor to bring to justice all those found guilty.
Prosecutor of Tehran’s Criminal Court Fakhreddin
Jafarzadeh said that a preliminary report indicated that
the thefts from museums have other dimensions that require