(IranMania) - Iran National Museum has called on officials of Chicago University to observe the principles of safekeeping and defend Iranian ownership to artifacts which are being maintained at the universitys Oriental Studies Institute as a trust, reported CHN.
Curator of Iran National Museum Mohammad Reza Karegar forwarded a letter to Chicago University to take necessary action with US Justice Department to ensure the custody of rare Iranian artifacts and clay works which were deposited with the Institute of Oriental Studies as a trust so that the verdict of the US federal judge will not be applicable.
Karegar pointed out that Iran Nation Museum has been in correspondence with Chicago Universitys Oriental Studies Department for the return of the artifacts. He noted that there was an agreement between Iran National Museum and Chicago University based on which 300 artifacts and clay fragments with cuneiform scripts are being kept at the Oriental Studies Institute as a trust, reports Trend.
A US Federal judge issued a politicized verdict against University of Chicago ordering the auction of the artifacts to pay the claims to Israel.
University of Chicago has appealed the verdict saying that Iran has given its cultural artifacts to the Oriental Studies Institute as a trust and it is committed to return them to Iran.
A federal judge has rejected a key defense by the University of Chicago in a lawsuit over rights to ancient Persian artifacts, a decision bound to ripple through the American museum community.
The next step, according to the Rhode Island lawyer who sued the university and several renowned museums: Seize an invaluable collection at University of Chicagos Oriental Institute, thousands of clay fragments with cuneiform writing that came from Iran.
The judges decision comes as American museums are facing tough questions about how they acquired certain collections.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently agreed to return invaluable antiquities that Italian authorities said had been looted from that country. The J. Paul Getty Museum is negotiating a similar claim with Italy.
The judges rebuke of University of Chicago left several other lines of defense still to be heard. The case, which also involves the Field Museum, comes back to court for another hearing next month.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Iran will retaliate if the United States moves to auction off invaluable ancient Persian artifacts being kept at Institute of Oriental Studies of Chicago University.
If the America lays claim to Iranian assets to implement some of its courts rulings, it will face a similar measure from Tehran, he told IRNA.
Mottaki said parliament had adopted a law in 1999 which would authorize Iranian courts to file suits against foreign governments which take such action against Iranian interests.