U.S. Court Supports Iran…about Artifacts in Chicago Museums

Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Achaemenid Tablets
American victims of a foreign terrorist attack cannot take possession of ancient artifacts belonging to Iran, ruled a U.S. federal appeals court this week in a long-running legal battle.
The case stems from a September 4, 1997, triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem, Israel, carried out by Hamas, which long has been aided by the Iranian government. Five American citizens injured in the attack filed a lawsuit against Iran in U.S. courts and won a $71.5 million judgment in 2003. There was joined by four relatives of victims of the attack.
But collecting the money proved difficult for the plaintiffs’ attorneys, who managed to seize a house in Texas and some small bank accounts. They then targeted Iranian artifacts that were part of the Persepolis and Chogha Mish Collections at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, and the Herzfeld Collection at the Field Museum of Natural History. The first two sets of artifacts were excavated by archaeologists from the University of Chicago in the 1930s and 1960s and were officially on loan from Iran while being studied. The Herzfield Collection, on the other hand, was purchased by the Field Museum from Herzfield in 1945. The plaintiffs claim that Herzfield stole the artifacts and smuggled them out of Iran, and thus they are owned not by the museum, but by the government of Iran.
The plaintiffs won a lower court ruling before the University of Chicago, with the support of the U.S. Department of Justice, appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The higher court overturned the earlier decision, saying the artifacts were protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976.
The University of Chicago antiquities include a collection of 2,500-year-old clay tablets bearing Elamite cuneiform script that provide an insight into Persian culture before Alexander the Great burned Persepolis around 330 BC.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Worth Millions...or Priceless? (by Amy Braverman Puma, University of Chicago Journal)


Esther Haman 9 years ago
the desperate zionists and their lawyers can sue as much as they want, but at the end they will have nothing to show for.

Leave a comment