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Stolen Capital Returned to Persepolis


17 May 2006



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LONDON, (Shapour Suren-Pahlav - CAIS) -- A double bull headed capital stolen from Persepolis has recently been returned to the ancient seat of the Achaemenid Empire, the Persian service of CHN reported Tuesday.


The Kerman police seized the capital from armed smugglers a few days before Iranian New Year (March 21). The capital was kept at the Harandi Garden Museum in Kerman after it was seized, Kerman Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department (KCHTD) official Hossein Rashidzadeh said.


"The smugglers had planned to transfer the capital to a foreign country", he added.


The KCHTD has submitted a lawsuit against the smugglers in a Shiraz court, and they will soon be put on trial.


Neither, the Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) officials responsible for the protection of Persepolis nor any of the government run News Agencies had reported the robbery. Mr Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei the director pf the ICHTO has also failed to offer any explanation, as to how such a colossal capital has been removed from Persepolis complex without officials knowledge.


Since 1979 Islamic revolution, smugglers with the assistance of ruling clerics have repeatedly stolen relics of the palaces of Persepolis and have sold to several private collectors outside the country. Iran’s Cultural Heritage Police Department with the support of the public is trying hard to protect what is left of this magnificent place, which was once the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), from being plundered any further. This was the first report about the case and no eye witness has confirmed the return of the priceless artefact to Persepolis.


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