Iran says British Museum broke pledge on artifact

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Iran accused the British Museum on Monday of breaking a promise to lend it an artifact relating to Cyrus of Persia's conquest of Babylon in the 6th century BC.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi warned of wider harm to archaeological cooperation between London and Tehran if the British Museum did not allow public display of the so-called Cyrus Cylinder in Iran.

A museum spokeswoman said the intention was still to send the piece to Iran once the "practicalities" had been resolved.

Qashqavi suggested that developments after Iran's disputed election in June, which plunged the country into political turmoil, was a reason for museum's reluctance to temporarily hand over the 2,500-year-old clay cylinder.

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