Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Stolen Artifacts to Return to Ilam


Tehran, 19 April 2006 (CHN) -- Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Ilam Province has asked the Cultural Heritage Police Department to assist this organization in returning the stolen artifacts to the ancient village of Darreh Shahr.
Last month, some eleven rare objects dating back to 2800 BC were illegally unearthed from the village of Darreh Shahr in the southwestern province of Ilam including metal items such as arrows with designs, metals depicting wild goats, a golden cup, and a very unique and precious silver mask which is estimated to be from the first millennium BC. Together these items are valued at approximately 26,000 US dollars, and they could be sold outside the country for an estimated price of up to 80,000 USD.
Luckily this collection was seized in Tehran from an illegal digger on April 4th and was transferred to the Cultural Heritage Police Department to be kept under its custody. Now the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Ilam has sent a letter to this department asking for the return of the ancient relics to this province. “Since these items belong to the village of Darreh Shahr, we have asked the Cultural Heritage Police Department to send them back to Ilam province,” said Fereidoon Mohammadi, director general of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Ilam Province.“Ilam’s experts and representatives from its Cultural Heritage Police Dept. are to examine the places from which these artifacts were taken out in order to prevent such smuggling from happening again,” added Mohammadi.
There are 500 historical sites at Darreh Shahr. More security measures are needed to protect these areas; and Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) needs to know exactly from which point the illegal diggers had unearthed this collection.
According to ICHTO officials, these artifacts will be examined by the organization’s experts, renovated if needed, and then they will be sent to a museum to be displayed there.

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