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Tehran's Anthropology Museum 'Cleaned Out' By Burglars

Old Tehran Museum shelves stand empty as burglars "cleaned out" the museum.

Burglars have "cleaned out" the Museum of Anthropology of old Tehran without leaving traces, the state-run Iran Students News Agency, ISNA, reports.

The museum is in a mansion called Sara-ye Kazemi in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tehran.

The burglary took place three weeks ago and it is not clear why law enforcement and media did not report it earlier.

A cultural heritage activist, Arash Saberi, told ISNA news agency that the burglar hid in the museum for several hours on June 8, and removed all artifacts by midnight, cleaning out the showcases full of valuable objects before dawn.

Mr. Saberi estimated the value of the stolen pieces as "about thirty billion rials (more than $700,000)."

Iran - The historical Sarai Kazemi mansion in the old part of Tehran. Undated
Iran - The historical Sarai Kazemi mansion in the old part of Tehran. Undated

Sarai Kazemi is an old mansion in the historical neighborhood of the 12th district of the Iranian capital city, Tehran. Following reconstruction and restoration, the estate was inaugurated as the "House-Museum of Old Tehran", " including an anthropology museum.

The house, visited by tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists every year, is magnificent 19th century mansion once owned by Haj Sayyed Kazem, who worked for the Qajar royal dynasty.

Last year, a Jewish synagogue was twice robbed in the old part of Tehran. Since then, nobody is allowed to visit it.

Iranian Jewish community leaders in the U.S. confirmed reports that on February 28, 2019, three antique Torah scrolls were stolen by unknown burglars from the centuries-old Ezra Yagoub synagogue located inside Tehran's old Jewish ghetto.