Aug 03, 2020 19:54 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Oct 31, 2020 08:53 Asia/Tehran]
  • Iran, Greece expand joint cooperation for return of cultural, historical property

Tehran (IP)- The Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage met with the Greek Ambassador to Tehran, Dimitri Alexandrakis, emphasizing the importance of joint cooperation and exchange of experiences in the field of restitution of cultural and historical property.

Iran PressIran News: Referring to the discussion of establishing the Ancient Civilizations Assembly with the presence of civilized countries such as Iran, Greece and China under the main theme of combating trafficking of historical objects and return of cultural and historical property based on cultural diplomacy, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, said: "Iran has been one of the most successful countries in the restitution of 3400 historical and cultural monuments, especially since 2014. Iran's actions have made the global market unsafe for smuggling and sale of cultural and historical property."

During the meeting, he spoke about the measures taken by Iran in returning the cultural and historical property of countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and some neighboring countries, adding: "Given that Iran, like Greece, has faced looting, theft and smuggling of historical property during the last two centuries, we hope that by cooperating and adopting appropriate solutions, we can provide the ground for the return of stolen treasures."

At the meeting, Talebian announced the proposal made by the Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage to use the Assembly's capacities at the beginning of a movement based on purposeful international cooperation focusing on the return of stolen historical and cultural property within the framework of statements and in the form of a joint plan, stressing: " The proposal was approved by the Greek Minister of Culture and he requested to visit Iran in September or October and to hold a webinar with Greek officials if the coronavirus outbreak still continues."

He went on to announce Iran's readiness for virtual museum and exhibition collaborations by introducing measures such as providing virtual visits to world museums and monuments, webinars of world sites with other world centers due to restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak and joint intangible heritage files.

Emphasizing that cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts in today's challenging world are important tools for promoting and consolidating peace between communities and nations, Greek Ambassador Dimitri Alexandrakis expressed his country's interest in using Iran's experience and cooperating in the return of cultural and historical property.

According to the Public Relations and Information Center of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, he noted that in Greece, tourism and cultural affairs have separate frameworks and the Greek Ministry of Culture deals only with cultural issues, adding that in order to expand cultural cooperation in matters such as virtual museums, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, concluding a comprehensive agreement on the subject of cultural heritage is suggested.

Holding a seminar focusing on Persepolis and the Acropolis with the aim of expanding the cultural commonalities of the two nations, especially in these two important places, was another suggestion given by the Greek ambassador to Tehran in the meeting.


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