Cyrus the Great
in Sydney, Australia
This is a replica of a Bas-Relief found in Pasargade, the capital city of Persia founded by Cyrus. It depicts Cyrus the Great ( 580-529 BC).
Cyrus was the first Achaemenian Emperor of Persia, who issued a decree on his aims and policies, later hailed as his charter of the rights of nations. Inscribed on a clay cylinder, this is known to be the first declaration of Human Rights, and is now kept at the British Museum. A replica of this is also at the United Nations in New York.
The Bas-relief shown here by Lewis Batros, a Sydney Artist, was put up at Sydney's Bicentennial Park, October 1994, through the efforts of the Australian Iranian community with donations from all over the world and contributions from the NSW Local Government.
It symbolizes Multiculturalism, a word coined to express the coexistence and peaceful cohabitation of peoples from different background and culture in one land. A doctrine which is the foundation of advanced societies especially in Australia and the USA and which was also Cyrus's Claim to fame.
At a time when Iran bashing was the rule and the norm, this gesture by the New South Wales Government was seen as a welcoming sign by the Iranian community and the event has since been annually remembered during the Mehregan Festival in September.
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