San Francisco Opening

San Francisco is the first stop of the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning on the West Coast of the United States. The exhibition, which is organized by the British Museum and the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF America), was viewed by about 250,000 visitors in the three cities of Washington DC, Houston, and New York prior to its departure for San Francisco.

The San Francisco display of the exhibition is hosted at the Asian Art Museum and is  generously sponsored by Tina and Hamid Moghadam, and Bita Daryabari and Dr. Reza Malek, in collaboration with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.


The Cyrus Cylinder, at the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, on loan from the British Museum. Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America

The exhibition was inaugurated with a press event, followed by a panel on the ancient and contemporary significance of Cyrus and the Cyrus Cylinder (see below for photos).

During the opening weekend, PAAIA had arranged a number of different programs, including a gala commemorating Cyrus the Great, a retreat with panels on various topics, and the world premiere of the newly expanded composition of the King Cyrus Symphony Suite by Loris Tjeknavorian. These events enhanced and deepened the impact of the opening of the exhibition, and brought more awareness about the exhibition and its message to the general public and to the community leaders.

The official opening ceremony of the exhibition too place on Sunday August 11th, with a lecture by Dr. John Curtis to a full house of interested and distinguished guests, followed by a reception and exclusive viewing of the exhibition at the museum.

Press Preview

A press preview event gave journalists an opportunity to listen to the director of the museum Jay Xu, Dr. John Curtis who curated the exhibition at the British Museum, and Qamar Adamjee the assistant curator of South Asian Art, followed by a preview of the exhibition, the Cyrus Cylinder, and the accompanying objects.

Photos by Mandana Fard / IHF America. Use of photos for press purposes is permitted only with proper reference to photo credits.

001 002 003 004
005 IMG_3422 006 007 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 12+ IMG_3455 IMG_3441 IMG_3450 IMG_3446 P1170478 P1170486 P1170530 P1170548 Q1170538


Panel Discussion

A panel discussion sponsored by the Asia Society provided the opportunity to an engaged audience to listen to experts on the ancient and contemporary topics around the Cyrus Cylinder, the Achaemenid period, current-day Iran, conflicts, and the many meanings, uses, and misuses of the Cyrus Cylinder. The panel started with a presentation and lecture by Dr. John Curtis from the British Museum, and was moderated by Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum. Panel Speakers: Left to Right: Reza Zarghami, author and scholar of the Achaemenid era; Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council and expert on Iran-US relations; Dr. Mitra Ara, professor and Founder of Persian Studies at the San Francisco State University.

Photos by Mandana Fard / IHF America. Use of photos for press purposes is permitted only with proper reference to photo credits.

Q1170531 Q1170534 IMG_3464 IMG_3466 P1170605 IMG_3467 IMG_3476 IMG_3478 P1170620 P1170628 P1170662 P1170675 P1170680 P1170690