TEHRAN – A total of 100 Iranian relics, which were on loan to the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) for some half a century, have been finally returned home, ISNA reported on Saturday. “Through cultural diplomacy, another collection of [Iranian relics, which contains] 10,000 cultural materials, including 100 museum objects have been returned to the National Museum of Iran after half a century.
The objects were on loan to the British Institute of Iranian Studies,” the news agency quoted Iran’s tourism minister as saying.We hope to set up a public exhibition of the relics at the National Museum of Iran in near future, Ali-Asghar Mounesan added, the report said. The museum objects are made of stone, pot-tery, bone, brick, etc., and the documentation of these works is on the agenda of the National Museum of Iran, the official noted. “The Tehran headquarters of the British In-stitute of Persian Studies used to be home to groups of British archaeologists and Iranologists who came to Iran to study, visit, conduct field studies and archaeological excavations...,” the minister explained. BIPS was founded in 1961 to promote and encourage the study of Iran, its history, civilisa-tion, and culture in all periods of history. Much of BIPS research and work in its early years was in the field of archaeology.In 1976 BIPS opened its purpose-built centre in northern Tehran, designed by Reza Khazeni architects. The Tehran centre houses an extensive library that exceeds 40,000 English and Persian language volumes, journals and periodicals as well as epigraphic material, maps, photographic and fieldwork archives; a unique resource that is open to Iranian students, scholars and mem-bers of the public. It is thought to be the largest collection of English language volumes in Iran. The Tehran centre remains one of the few overseas institutes continuing to operate in Iran. It also houses a hostel for the use of visiting academics and students.BIPS is one of a small number of British International Research Institutes funded by the British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences. BIPS is also a member organisation, with a worldwide membership, open to anyone with an interest in Iran and the Persianate world.