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Persian Relic Displayed in Tehran After Repatriation From New York

Persian Relic Displayed in Tehran After Repatriation From New YorkPersian Relic Displayed in Tehran After Repatriation From New York

The Achaemenian bas-relief that was slated for auction in New York at a base price of $1.2 million has been repatriated by President Hassan Rouhani following his recent visit to the United Nations headquarters in the US. 

The relic was displayed in a ceremony held in Tehran on Sunday. 

A New York Supreme Court judge in July ordered a Persian bas-relief dating to approximately 500 B.C. to be returned to Iran from where it was stolen more than 80 years ago, Ichto reported.

The bas-relief, which depicts a Persian guard, was seized in October by investigators for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office from the Park Avenue Armory where it was being offered for sale at an art fair.

As part of the ensuing negotiations, the two London-based owners agreed to surrender the item. Investigators say the item was reported stolen from Persepolis in 1936 and then was stolen a second time in 2011 from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to which it had been donated decades earlier.

In court papers, the district attorney’s office argued that no one can be a good-faith purchaser of a stolen work, according to a report by the New York Times.

The bas-relief is an eight-square-inch piece of carved limestone that was part of a long line of soldiers depicted on a balustrade at the central building on the Persepolis site. It dates back to the Achaemenid Dynasty—or the First Persian Empire—and experts said it was made sometime between 510 and 330 B.C. when Persepolis was sacked by Alexander the Great.

 

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