People, Travel

Soltanifar Thanks Belgians for Collaboration

Soltanifar Thanks Belgians for CollaborationSoltanifar Thanks Belgians for Collaboration

Iran acknowledged the efforts of Belgian officials for returning ancient Iranian artifacts after a quarter century.

In a ceremony attended by the Belgian ambassador to Tehran, Francois Delhaye, and 50 other foreign envoys, Masoud Soltanifar, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) lauded the Belgian endeavor, and presented the ambassador with a commendation plaque as a sign of gratitude, CHTN reported.

Soltanifar referred to the move toward globalization, and the trend in favor of cultural unity, leading to the improvement relations between nations and creation of closer bonds.

“Cultural and historical heritage remain a means for cultural development, and play a significant role in a country’s identity. Thus the authorities in charge of cultural heritage must make every attempt to preserve and safeguard them for future generations,” he added.

The official outlined measures and incentives such as recreating the 1970’s convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property by international organizations in related areas like UNSECO, as a step towards reaching this aim.

The convention aims to protect cultural property against theft and looting while emphasizing the restitution of such items.

A nation preserving its own culture is a basic duty, but to help safeguard the culture and heritage of another nation, is an honorable act worth acknowledging, Soltanifar asserted.He expressed hope that the help from the Belgians will set an example for other countries to assist in the return of artifacts to their rightful owners.

Artifacts from the necropolis of Khurvin have been returned to Iran after 35 years following a verdict by the court of appeals in Belgium December last year. The collection dates back to about 2000 BC and consists of ten crates of over 300 objects.