News ID: 271300
Published: 0117 GMT July 10, 2020

Austria repatriates smuggled Iranian antiques

Austria repatriates smuggled Iranian antiques

A number of artifacts and antiquities belonging to Iran, which were smuggled to Austria, were returned to Iran’s representative in Austria during a judicial assistance between the two countries.

Austrian Interpol and the Iranian International Police cooperated to return the antiques to their true owners, IRNA wrote.

Expressing gratitude for the assistance and cooperation of Austria’s Procurator General’s Office and police in discovering and returning the ancient objects to Iran, the Iranian representative said it was a sign of deep historical and cultural friendly relations and called for the expansion of such cooperation.

Last May, Mohammad-Hassan Talebian said that Chairman of the Iranian Interpol Brigadier-General Hadi Shirzad had informed Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts last year of the discovery of ancient Iranian works in Austria.

There were bronze antiques related to Iran’s western province of Lorestan, examples of which are kept in the Reza Abbasi Museum and the National Museum of Iran, he said.

Among the antiques was also a steel Rhyton related to the Achaemenid era, two similar examples of which are housed in the National Museum of Iran and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Speaking about the ‘bronze’ bust in the collection, he said that the original bust, relating to the Sassanid Era, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is made of silver, not bronze.

It seems that some of the items are fake, said Talebian, explaining that the precise origins of the items needs careful observation when repatriated.

According to international conventions such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, of which Austria is also a signatory, the confiscated items must have been returned to Iran.


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