Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Turkey to Return Iranian Antiques


Tehran, 1 March 2006 (CHN) -- Following the previous efforts to redeem Iranian historical and cultural properties from Turkey, the authorities of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) has prepared the draft of a memorandum of understanding to be signed by Tehran and Ankara authorities in order to protect the national interests and to return the historical and cultural relics which have been taken out of the country illegally.
"This is the first time such a memorandum of understanding has been prepared by ICHTO to redeem Iran’s historical and cultural relics which have been taken out illegally,” said Maryam Taheri, judicial expert of ICHTO in international affairs.
“After obtaining legal process we are determined to use the contents of this memorandum of understanding to prepare other ones to reach to an agreement in this respect with other countries as well,” added Taheri.
According to Taheri, this memorandum of understanding has been prepared in accordance with 1970 UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership of cultural property and the UNIDROIT Convention of stolen or illegally exported cultural objects adopted in Rome on June 29, 1995.
“Some expert investigations have been made so far for preparing this memorandum of understanding considering the existed files in international organizations and the conventions. Iran’s Foreign Ministry and the President Office have shown positive cooperation in this respect,” explained Taheri.
Joint cooperation among neighboring countries through signing agreements in this respect is one of the issues which Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization has recently focused on in order to strengthen the power of governments to prevent the illegal exit of historical properties from the countries.
Prior to this, some negotiations had been made between Iran and Turkey in this respect during which both countries reached an agreement to prevent the illegal entrance of smuggled historical and cultural relics to the country and to pave the way for returning those ones which have been found in either country by deferent organizations.

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