The cylinder, currently housed in the British Museum, will be on display in five major museum venues in the U.S. starting in March 2013.

The exhibition has been organized by the British Museum in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation and the  Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.  PAAIA is proud that, with support from some of its generous members, it will be co-sponsoring the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition in San Francisco.

The Cyrus Cylinder tour will debut at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. in March 2013 before travelling to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, concluding its journey at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles in October 2013.

The cylinder will travel with an exhibition of sixteen other objects under the title “The Cyrus Cylinder in Ancient Persia.” According to the press release issued by the British Museum:

“The exhibition shows the innovations initiated by Persian rule in the Ancient Near East (550 BC-331 BC). At that time, the Persian Empire was the largest empire the world had known. It had a significant impact on the ancient world, introducing changes in ethical behavior as witnessed in the proclamation on the Cyrus Cylinder. A gold plaque from the Oxus Treasure with the representation of a priest shows the spread of the Zoroastrian religion at that time, while a new writing system, Old Persian cuneiform, introduced by Persian kings, can be seen on part of a column base from Hamadan, and on the famous seal of Darius (522-486 BC). Persians also developed new forms of luxury goods including beautifully decorated gold and silver bowls and sumptuous gold bracelets featuring fantastic animal shapes, some of them from the Oxus Treasure.”


In collaboration with a number of PAAIA members, PAAIA will be co-sponsoring the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition in San Francisco (August 9 – September 22).  PAAIA thanks Bita Daryabari and Dr. Reza Malek, as well as Tina and Hamid Moghadam, for sponsoring the exhibition in San Francisco. We are also proud that numerous PAAIA board members are among the sponsors of the exhibition in Houston and New York City.

PAAIA will be working with the museums, local organizations, and others to develop unique programs at the Asian Art Museum and in the Bay Area that celebrate both the Cyrus Cylinder and our ancient heritage. We look forward to the support of our members, sponsors, and others to implement some of these programs and share our history with others. If you wish to support the Cyrus Cylinder’s exhibition in San Francisco, click here and select “Cyrus Cylinder Tour” from the drop down menu.


The tour dates for “The Cyrus Cylinder in Ancient Persia” are as follows:

Washington DC
March 9, 2013 – April 28, 2013
Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Houston, Texas
May 3, 2013 – June 14, 2013
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

New York City, New York
June 20, 2013 – August 4, 2013
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

San Francisco, California
August 9, 2013 – September 22, 2013
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Los Angeles, California
October 2, 2013 – December 2, 2013
J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, Los Angeles

Click here to read the British Museum’s press release about “The Cyrus Cylinder in Ancient Persia.”

To follow the tour on Facebook, click here.

To find out how you can help with the PAAIA-sponsored Cyrus Cylinder exhibitions, click here.

To view the tour’s official website, click here.

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