Iran’s stolen historical tiles to return home

TEHRAN, May 30 (MNA) -- Officers from London Metropolitan’s Arts and Antiques Unit handed hundreds of smuggled Persian tiles to the Iranian Embassy in London on Friday.

The 600-year old tiles were ripped from the walls of the tomb of Sultan Shahabeddin ibn Ahmad, in a village near Amol in Mazandaran Province of northern Iran, legal expert of Iran’s embassy Ali Musavi told the Persian service of IRNA.


He said that the decorative tiles were taken to Dubai first and then were transferred to London to be put up for auction at Bonham’s Auction House where experts became suspicious of their origins and alerted the Art and Antiques Unit.


“The collection was confiscated by the police after documents revealed the artifacts belonged to Iran,” Musavi remarked, adding that the property will soon be handed over to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) in Tehran.


Investigating officer Vernon Rapley who was present at Iran’s embassy said, “It is very gratifying to know that these valuable cultural objects will once again be displayed within the tomb from which they were so brazenly taken.


“We are very grateful for the close cooperation of the Iranian Embassy in London and the cultural officials who assisted our investigation in Tehran.


He also said that nobody has been arrested in the case and the collector who bought the tiles from a dealer in Dubai assisted the police and released his title claim on the objects, adding that the necessary documents were submitted to the officials in Dubai and Iran for further investigation.


Iran and Britain undertook to adopt the 1970 UNESCO Convention that declares as illegal the import, export or transfer of ownership of cultural property.





News Code 34027

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