TEHERAN, Iran – A Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world's first human rights charter will go on display in Iran after the government threatened to cut ties with the British Museum if it did not loan the object.
The Cyrus Cylinder is a sixth century B.C. clay object inscribed with an account in cuneiform of the conquest of Babylon by the Persian King Cyrus the Great. It arrived in Iran on Friday and will go on display in the coming days at Iran's National Museum for four months, state TV reported.
Iran said it was in a dispute with the British Museum for months over its request for a loan of the object and repeatedly threatened to cut ties with the institution. At one point, a senior Iranian cultural official accused the museum of turning a cultural issue into a political issue.