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Sunday, September 26, 2010
Cyrus Cylinder warmly welcomed at home
Tehran Times Culture Desk
TEHRAN -- About 48,000 people have visited the Cyrus Cylinder exhibit at the National Museum of Iran in a ten day period.
Over 2000 visitors were foreigners, including ambassadors to Tehran from other countries, the Curator of the National Museum of Iran Azadeh Ardakani told the Persian service of IRNA.
“In the first few days, over 2,000 visitors came to the museum and that number swelled to 4,000 in the following days,” she added.
Ardakani anticipated a rise in the number of visitors after the resumption of classes at schools and universities in the upcoming days. Iranian schools and universities officially reopened on September 23.
Visitors also can enjoy other parts of the museum and can attend academic seminars on Cyrus and human rights, she said.
The British Museum recently loaned the Cyrus Cylinder to Iran. The artifact was put on display at the National Museum of Iran for duration of four months. The President formally opened the Cyrus Cylinder exhibit on September 12.
Considered the world’s first declaration of human rights, the Cyrus Cylinder is a document issued by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the form of a clay cylinder inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform script.
The cylinder was created following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus and replaced him as ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The text of the cylinder denounces Nabonidus as impious and portrays the victorious Cyrus as pleasing to the chief Babylonian god Marduk.
It goes on to describe how Cyrus had improved the lives of the citizens of Babylonia, repatriated displaced peoples and restored temples and cult sanctuaries.
The artifact was last displayed in Iran 40 years ago.