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Museum will meet with Iran

October 23, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The British Museum says it will open negotiations with Iran over loaning the country an ancient Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world's earliest bill of rights.

Spokeswoman Esme Wilson said the museum was preparing to send a member of its staff to Tehran to discuss a possible loan of the Cyrus cylinder, a 6th century BC clay artifact that carries an account by Cyrus, the king of Persia.

The artifact describes how Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC and restored many of the people held captive by the Babylonians to their homelands.

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