November 12, 2013

J. Paul Getty Museum Extends Dates for Popular Exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning

Talk with Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, Added to Slate of Educational Programming

Free Advance, Timed Tickets Available Now at

Through Sunday, December 8, 2013
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa


MEDIA CONTACT:                 
Desiree Zenowich
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7304

The Cyrus Cylinder, after 539 B.C. Achaemenid (Persian). Clay. The British Museum.

LOS ANGELES—Due to its popularity, the Getty Villa exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning, featuring one of the most celebrated discoveries from the ancient world, has been extended through Sunday, December 8. The Getty Villa will also continue its special Saturday evening hours until 9:00 p.m. through the extended run of the exhibition.

To date, the exhibition’s weekly average attendance places it among the top exhibitions ever shown at the Getty Villa. Extending the run of the exhibition provides an additional week for visitors to see this iconic document on loan from the British Museum, which concludes its highly successful United States tour in Los Angeles. Previous venues have included the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

On November 23 at 6:00 p.m., Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Neil McGregor, director of the British Museum, will discuss the Cyrus Cylinder and cultural diplomacy. The conversation will take place in the Auditorium at the Getty Villa and is supported by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Tickets are free, but a reservation is required and available by calling 310-440-7300 or at

Inscribed on the orders of the Persian king Cyrus II (ruled 559–530 B.C.), the Cyrus Cylinder recounts how he conquered the city of Babylon in 539 B.C. and instituted reforms throughout the region, restoring sanctuaries that had become dilapidated and permitting exiled peoples to return home. Often seen as a historic declaration of religious and political tolerance, the inscription in Babylonian cuneiform writing on a clay cylinder provides critical contemporary confirmation of Cyrus’s reputation as a benevolent ruler in ancient Greek and biblical texts, and bears witness to the multi-ethnic nature of the expanding Achaemenid Empire, which introduced innovative forms of writing, religion, and luxury goods to the Near East.

In addition to the Cyrus Cylinder, the exhibition includes a number of related objects that highlight the artistic, cultural, and historical achievements of the Achaemenid Empire of Iran, including spectacular jewelry, vessels, and other gold objects from the Oxus Treasure, as well as architectural fragments and finely carved cylinder seals used to ‘sign’ clay documents.

Admission to the Getty Villa and The Cyrus Cylinder And Ancient Persia: A New Beginning is free, but advance timed tickets are required.  Tickets are available now at or by calling (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15; $10 after 5 p.m. on Saturdays. With the Getty’s “Pay Once, Park Twice” program, visitors to both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa on the same day pay only one parking fee, using a special coupon obtained at the Information Desk of the first museum visited.

The Los Angeles presentation of The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning was made possible by the generous support of Farhang Foundation, the Getty’s sponsor and community partner. This exhibition was organized by the British Museum in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

The exhibition at the Getty Villa is curated by Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and David Saunders, assistant curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.


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The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

Visiting the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special Saturday hours until 9 p.m. October 12–December 7, 2013. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California. Same day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for $15 through the Getty’s Pay Once, Park Twice program.

About Farhang Foundation:
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The Foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The Foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions or events supported by the Foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit

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