British Museum director calls for expansion of ties with National Museum of Iran

TEHRAN, Sept. 13 (MNA) -- British Museum Director Neil MacGregor is convinced that cultural ties between the BM and the National Museum of Iran must continue and grow.

Macgregor attended the unveiling ceremony of the Cyrus Cylinder on Saturday at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.

The artifact arrived in Iran on Friday and was unveiled in the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and several foreign ambassadors. The British Museum has loaned the Cyrus Cylinder to the National Museum of Iran for a period of four months.

The cylinder went on show at the exhibit “Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia” held at the British Museum in 2005. Thousands visited the cylinder and many more precious artifacts and became familiar with the history of Iran, MacGregor said at the ceremony.

MacGregor expressed his happiness in attending the unveiling ceremony and said that the cylinder has been kept at the museum since 1879 and that much research has been carried out on the artifact.

The text of the cylinder denounces Nabonidus as impious and portrays the victorious Cyrus as pleasing to the chief Babylonian god Marduk.

It goes on to describe how Cyrus had improved the lives of the citizens of Babylonia, repatriated displaced peoples and restored temples and cult sanctuaries.

BM director later stressed that the cylinder belongs to all the human beings as a universal heritage, adding that the museum is willing to display the artifact in every corner in the world.

He expressed his satisfaction that the Cyrus Cylinder is now on show in its home in the country of Cyrus.

Curator of the National Museum of Iran Azadeh Ardakani, also present at the ceremony, said that the museum made great efforts to bring the cylinder back to its home.

“We Iranians are a benevolent, peaceful and justice-seeking nation and have always defended our land and heritage. This cylinder is the evidence revealing the esteemed thoughts and the spirit of freedom that exists in our nation,” she said.


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