(Persia Digest) – The Iranian Ambassador to the UN has announced: “The bust rock relief of the Achaemenid solider which had been smuggled out of Iran has been delivered by the New York City Prosecutor’s Office and will be transferred to Iran soon.”
Gholam-Ali Khoshroo added: “The artifact was discovered in Iran 90 years ago and was taken out of the country shortly after. It surfaced again in a New York auction last year. Once the relevant documents were handed over to the NY Prosecutor’s Office, it was proved that it belonged to Iran and its auction was against the laws.”
Khoshroo went on to say that the auction was stopped based on the documents; investigating the claims of the false owners took 11 months. It was eventually proved that the artifact had been illegally taken out of Iran by smugglers.
He continued: “I would like to thank all those who were involved in returning the soldier home, and the good work of the judge and prosecutor who helped Iran regain its right to repossess this historic work.”
Persia Digest reported that the Achaemenid soldier’s bust rock relief was discovered by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 1933. It was stolen in 1936. After changing hands a number times, the artefact reached New York from Canada in the autumn of 2017.
Iran presented its ownership documents to the NY court in October 2017. The court issued its final verdict on 11 July 2018 for the return of the work to Iran and handed the artefact over to the Iranian Ambassador at the UN on 4 September.
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