Safeguarding Cyrus the Great Cylinder
To: UNESCO World Heritage, the British Government, the British Museum, International media, and all organizations and individuals concerned with preservation of humanity’s precious treasures
The British Museum is planning to lend the Islamic Republic in April, one of the most precious antiquities in the world, Cyrus the Great Cylinder. The Cyrus Cylinder has been hailed as the first charter of human rights. In 1971, in recognition of the unique nature of this artifact, the United Nations produced a translation of it in all the UN official languages.
A vast number of Iranians are deeply concerned about the fate of the Cyrus Cylinder, should it be loaned to the Islamists presently ruling Iran. The hostility of the clerical regime of Iran toward anything and everything Iranian that predates Islam is a well-documented fact. This priceless artifact belongs to Iran. Entrusting it to the hands of the sworn enemies of Iranian heritage entails an unacceptably high risk. It is imperative that the British authorities rescind the decision and take every measure to insure that the Cyrus Cylinder is preserved safely and returned to its rightful owner Iran only after the demise of the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is staffed by diehard elements that are determined to wipe out all traces of the pre-Islamic era. They aim to surpass the heinous act of Afghanistan’s Taliban who destroyed the irreplaceable two Buddha statues. What is enshrined in the Cyrus Cylinder is unconditional respect for the complete rights of all the people of the world, an anathema to the Islamists’ credo.
The current Islamic regime under the mullahs has shown, on numberless occasions, its contempt both in words and action for the memory of Cyrus, including flooding the plain which houses Cyrusís tomb, destroying the archeological sites of Pasargad and Persepolis, and harassing and intimidating those who would gather at the tomb of enlightened king to commemorate the International Day of Cyrus the Great.
It is with great apprehension that the Iranian people warn Mr. Andrew Murray Burnham, the British Secretary of State for culture, as well as the British government regarding the plan to lend this precious treasure of humanity to a contemptuous cult of medieval mullahs.
Furthermore, it is urgent that UNESCO take the additional step of immediately registering Cyrusís Charter of Human Rights Cylinder in its World Heritage Memory, in order to safeguard the diverse cultural heritage of the peoples of the world.