By Simon Rocker
September 16, 2010
The British Museum has lent Iran one of its most precious objects, the Cyrus Cylinder containing the decrees of the sixth century BCE Persian Emperor Cyrus.
The cuneiform charter celebrates the emperor’s decision to allow deported peoples to return to their homeland –which, of course, included the Jews, exiled by the Babylonians, who were able to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.
According to The Guardian , at a public ceremony welcoming its arrival, President Ahmadinejad draped a keffiyeh over an actor posing as Cyrus.
It is a dreadful irony that such an object should have put – even temporarily – in his hands.
Now some conservative Iranian sources are questioning whether the cylinder should be given back to Britain at all.