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Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World
Diplomat Stopped Smuggling Thousands of Iranian Antique Objects and
Ancient Artefacts Out of Iran
(CAIS) -- It is claimed that Iran's
Customs officers foiled the plot of an Argentine diplomat who sought to smuggle
thousands of Iranian antique objects and ancient artefacts out of Iran, reported
the Persian service of ISNA.
to the report, "The custom officers suspected the high volume of the cargo
the diplomat intended to take out of the country and discovered the artefacts
after an inspection of the boxes.”
Zavala, former counsellor of the Argentine embassy in Tehran, had left Iran in
June at the end of his seven-and-half year mission," foreign ministry
spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said.
The artefacts included thousands of ancient gold and silver coins, particularly
of Parthian, Sasanian and Saljuq dynastic periods, age-old religious and
historical manuscripts, a priceless collection of pre-Islamic weaponry, military
insignias, antique guns, pre-Islamic as well as post-Sasanian pottery, tile and
Packed in 318 cardboard boxes, the antique items reportedly weighed around 4,000
kg (8,818 lb).
"Security officials discovered the antique items after conducting a
thorough inspection of the diplomat's cargo," according to PressTV.
Argentine government has yet to issue a statement regarding Iran's
This is not the first time that a foreign diplomat tries to smuggle Iranian
antiquities out of the country.
Earlier in March, the third secretary of the South Korean Embassy in Tehran was
caught smuggling a priceless relic dating to the Achaemenid dynastic era out of
Customs officials in Shiraz Airport seized the remnant after they found it in
the South Korean diplomat's luggage during check-in. The envoy was later
released due to his diplomatic immunity.
"Customs officials in Shiraz Airport found an Achaemenid relief depicting
the top section of head of an Achaemenid soldier, weigh 2kg (4.4 lb) from
Persepolis in the luggage of the 3rd secretary of the South Korean Embassy in
Iran," IRNA quoted Shiraz public and revolutionary prosecutor, Jaber Banshi,
"The relic has been delivered to the provincial cultural heritage office,
but no cultural official has filed a complaint so far," he added.
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