People, Environment

Restituted Artifacts Will Be Unveiled at National Museum

Restituted Artifacts Will Be Unveiled at National Museum
Restituted Artifacts Will Be Unveiled at National Museum

The 73 artifacts returned to Tehran by the Unites States government last week will be put on display on Tuesday.

Concurrent with the National Cultural Heritage Week (May 14-20) and the International Museum Day (May 18), the seal impressions will be showcased in an exhibition at the National Museum in the capital, Mehr News Agency reported.

The return of the smuggled artifacts, which date back to the Sassanid era (224 – 651) is the result of months of negotiations between the two sides. They were reportedly seized by US authorities in 2002 while being smuggled into that country.

The seal impressions contain zoomorphism, royal imageries and inscriptions in the ancient script of Pahlavi. It is not yet known from which parts of Iran they had been stolen.

A large haul of Iran’s stolen artifacts have been restituted over the past two years. A shipment of 349 ancient relics was returned from Belgium in December 2014 – after 33 years - following a ruling by a court in Brussels.

In April 2015, over 100 historical artifacts taken from the archeological site of Choghamish in Khuzestan Province were returned by the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, after The Hague ruled in favor of Iran and obliged the US to restitute the objects.

And last July the government in Rome returned a shipment of 30 pre-Islamic-era relics.

Iran’s cultural heritage officials have urged Iranian expats to report stolen Iranian artifacts to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization to help bring the relics back home. They have been called upon to use the online portal,, to share with the authorities information they may have regarding stolen artifacts.