Wednesday, December 05, 2012

News: The First Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Rubin v. Iran

The meaning of "OF": The First Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Rubin v. Iran
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at

The First Circuit Court of Appeals today heard arguments about the meaning of the word "of" in the case of Rubin v. Iran.  The Rubin plaintiffs wish to seize "property of Iran" after receiving a multi-million dollar court judgment holding that country responsible for injuries caused by a terrorist attack.  The litigants have been unable to obtain payment; therefore, they seek to execute the judgment by taking ancient Iranian cultural artifacts housed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Harvard museums.  After losing their case in the lower federal district court, the plaintiffs appealed.

The attorney for the plaintiffs/appellants told the judges today, "We don't really care, frankly, whether or not the property actually belongs to Iran." explaining "All we care about is whether the property is 'of Iran.'"  "What does the word 'of'' mean?," counsel asked.  He answered that "...the word 'of' does not always mean possession."...

See linked data for Persepolis via awld.js

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Rugs Illustrating Achaemenid Monuments

[Originally posted on March 14th 2008, updated on March 29th with the addition of the caption. Updated 1December 2012 with the addition of the Nazmiyal rug]

Click on the photos for bigger pictures

This is a photograph of The Persepolis Kerman. This rug was woven in the Kerman workshop of Hajji Gholam Riza in 1900. The inscription at the upper end of the border reads (in translation):
Woven according to the command of his excellency, Aghayi Assadullah Khan Behtejulmulk, the vice-governor of the state of Fars, following the time when he made a tour of Persepolis. After seeing all, he commissioned Mirza Aghayi Forsati of Shiraz to study the ruins of the old buildings, as well as the sculpted figures and writings, who began to draw and translate the ancient writings in detail. The results of these labors were woven in this rug in the workshop of Hajji Gholam Riza of Kerman.

The rug, measuring twenty-four feet six inches by seventeen feet was given to The University of Chicago by Mrs. Mary Hooker Dole of Oak Park Illinois. For some years it lay on the floor of the Quadrangle Club, and was subsequently moved to Rockefeller Chapel where it was mounted on the south wall of the east transept. It was eventually sold by the University.

This polychrome rug from the workshop of Master Aboul Ghasem Kermani is currently offered for sale in New York at the Nazmiyal Collection.

Do you know of others? Let me know by way of the comments.