Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD
Artefacts Seized from Smugglers
20 January 2007
(CAIS) -- Commander of State Cultural Heritage Guards Unit (CHGU) has
announced that more than 15,000 artefacts were confiscated from smugglers in the
past 12 months.
State CHGU became operational following the increase in the smuggling of antiquities
and illegal excavations in historical sites as well as the shortage of guards
for safeguarding artifacts.
With the stationing of guards in vulnerable areas, which were excavated
illegally, the unit managed to prevent the exit of over 15,000 items from the
In an interview with the Persian daily ’Tehran-e Emrouz’, head of the unit
Brigadier General Abbasali Rouhi announced that some 91 international gangs have
been dismantled, thus a decline in the rate of smuggling is in sight.
The gangs were identified at a time when just one year ago a number of glassware
and stone works, which were illegally uncovered from Jiroft, Kerman province,
were repatriated through constant efforts of the Iranian authorities and curator
of the British Museum before they had the chance to sell them in an auction, he
With the exposure of such smuggling cases, he added that Special Unit of
Cultural Guards undertook serious steps to prevent the recurrence of such
He further said that although the unit needs 8,000 trained forces, measures have
been taken to employ only 4,000 personnel which is far below the required
Head of the State Cultural Heritage Guards Unit said that some 730 stations are
required to offer full protection to all the sites while a total of 150 stations
have so far been set up throughout the country. Given the current requirements,
the number of the stations should increase to 207 by March, he concluded.
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