Iranian artifacts have been looted and/or sold illegally for many decades. The Iranian collections of museums in major countries are testament to looted items. When contacted, several museums claimed the following: “ …these items have been properly acquired from reputable art dealers in New York, London, or Paris.”
Iran has gone through many years of turmoil. Organized networks continue to loot Iran’s artifacts.
Artifacts and antiques produced in Iran and kept in Iran, then were transported out of Iran are considered Iranian national property. Although other nationalities can enjoy them, they belong to Iran.
New York Metropolitan Museum, United States
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111, United States
There is a small room at this museum where stolen Persian/Iranian artifacts are displayed. For example, there is a piece of small bulls from the top of column, and half of it (the head facing the other way) has been neatly cut off. There are other statues with a Babylonian multi-year bull’s horn motif as a crown in this room. The museum says “… possibly Persian origin.”
We notified the director on April 25, 2003 and objected to displaying the stolen artifacts.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90036, United States
In early 2003, this museum paid 40 million dollars to what they called a private collector to purchase stolen Iranian/Persian Heritage. We notified them officially on April 25, 2003 about their mistake of purchasing and displaying stolen artifacts. They are showing these artifacts under the disguise name of Genghis Khan.
Leuver Museum in Paris, France
British Museum (London) England
We are looking for leads to stolen or smuggled Iranian properties. When you visit a museum, please provide us with as much information as possible, such as address, phone number, etc.