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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World

 Iranian institutions Demanded Foreign Ministry to Pursue Artefact Robbery by S. Korean Diplomat  

11 March 2009



LONDON, (CAIS) -- A number of Iranian cultural heritage institutions have asked the Foreign Ministry to pursue the artefact robbery from Persepolis by a South Korean diplomat.


The appeal was made in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Union for Scientific Associations of Archaeology Students, the National Coalition of Isfahan Cultural Heritage Enthusiasts, and the Iranian Cultural and Natural Heritage Watch.


A stone fragment of a bas-relief from Persepolis was discovered in the possession of the South Korean Embassy’s third secretary at Shiraz Airport on February 14, but no report was published about the case until last week due to his diplomatic immunity.


Weighing about two kilograms, the artefact is a part of a bas-relief depicting the hair of an Achaemenid soldier.


The artefact had been hidden in the South Korean diplomat’s baby carriage. The South Korean official, who was travelling with his wife and three children, was not detained due to his diplomatic immunity.


He pretended that he knew nothing about the historical importance of the artefact allegedly left in a corner of the Persepolis complex. He said that he liked it and decided to take it!


“Due to the Iranians’ sensitivity to cultural issues, artefact theft is a crime which can not be ignored in judicial system,” the Iranian institutions mentioned in the statement.


“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should summon South Korean ambassador for an explanation or expel the guilty diplomat from Iran, albeit the South Korean foreign ministry wants to summon the diplomat,” the statement read.


The reports published on the issue in last week’s newspapers in Iran had accused the South Korean chargé d’affaires of the robbery.






Some information for this report was extracted from: Mehr News [*]




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