The Achaemenid soldier bas-relief that was slated for auction in New York has been repatriated by Hassan Rouhani. The base price of this bas-relief was $1.2 million which had returned to Iran by President following his recent visit to the UN headquarters in the US.
A New York Supreme Court judge on July 23 ordered a Persian bas-relief dating to more than 500 B.C. to be returned to Iran from where it was stolen more than 80 years ago.
Gholam-Ali Khoshrou, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said on September 5 that the item had been delivered to him.
The bas-relief, which engraved a Persian guard, was seized in October 2017 by investigators from the Park Avenue Armory where it was being offered for sale at an art exhibition.
After negotiations, the owners agreed to surrender the item. Investigators say the bas-relief was reported stolen from Persepolis in 1936 and again was stolen a second time in 2011 from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to which it had been donated by a Canadian collector decades earlier according to a report by the New York Times.
The Achaemenid soldier bas-relief is an eight-inch piece of carved limestone that was part of a long line of Persian soldiers engraved at the central building on the Persepolis site. It dates back to the First Persian Empire or Achaemenid Dynasty and researchers believed it was made sometime between 510 and 330 B.C. when Persepolis was plundered by Alexander.