Dear President Obama, abt the Cyrus Cylinder

The Cyrus Cylinder has great potential for Iran-U.S. relations. So I was thinking: wouldn’t it be great if President Obama were to hike on down to the Freer Sackler Gallery, just a few blocks from the White House to take a look? Here’s my letter inviting him to do so. If you like it, feel free to copy and paste into the handy online note-dropping feature at the White House website.

Dear President Obama,

If you could visit the Freer Sackler Gallery, just a few blocks from the White House, to view the Cyrus Cylinder on exhibit there now, that small gesture could actually help Iran-U.S. relations. Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian empire was admired by Thomas Jefferson, is called messiah in the Bible, and is a common point of pride for modern Iranians. When the British Museum loaned the artifact to the national museum in Tehran, the Cyrus Cylinder, called “the first declaration of human rights” was applauded by Ahmadinejad for precisely those qualities. Your visiting this important artifact may elicit mutual respect from Iran and provide a foundation for fruitful progress on difficult issues. At the least, you would see an amazing piece of political, religious, and simply human history.

Thank you for considering this.


Kristin Swenson

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