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8 January 2005
UK hands over 30 Iranian ancient artifacts

Customs officials of London's Heathrow Airport handed over 30 ancient artifacts to the Iranian Embassy in London. The artifacts were being smuggled into Britain but were confiscated by customs agents.  Over 100 artifacts from the 5000-year-old Jiroft site in Iran's Kerman Province were discovered in two packages at Heathrow Airport last summer. British officials also handed over an ancient bowl to the Iranian Embassy in November. The bowl had been presented for auction at Sotheby's in London.
     Iran has taken major steps in recent years to fulfill its obligations as a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention, which seeks to protect cultural property against theft, illicit export, and wrongful alienation. Last year, Iran delivered about 200 artifacts from Afghanistan to President Hamid Karzai at Niavaran Palace in Tehran. The artifacts had been smuggled into Iran during the wars in Afghanistan.

Source: Persian Journal (2 January 2005)

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