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Fact Sheet

Persian Ancient Artifact Returns Home

Griffin

Persian Griffin that was returned to Iran

On Wednesday, September 25th, the United States returned to Iran an artifact that was seized by Customs enforcement in 2003 when an art dealer attempted to smuggle it into the United States.

The artifact is 7th century BC silver griffin-shaped ceremonial drinking vessel and was likely looted from a cave in northwestern Iran.

It is considered the premier griffin of antiquity, a gift of the Iranian people to the world, and the United States is pleased to return it to the people of Iran.

The return of the artifact reflects the strong respect the United States has for cultural heritage property  -- in this case cultural heritage property that was likely looted from Iran and is important to the patrimony of the Iranian people. It also reflects the strong respect the United States has for the Iranian people.