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Columbia Accused of Wrongfully Holding Iranian Art (Corrected)

Sept. 16, 2019, 5:06 PM; Updated: Oct. 22, 2019, 8:55 PM

Columbia University refuses to return art owned by the creator of its Center for Iranian Studies, a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York says.

Columbia also misused the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation’s trademarks and interfered with its contracts, according to the complaint.

Encyclopaedia Iranica is an encyclopedia dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization. Creator Ehsan Yarshater ran the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation and Columbia’s Center for Iranian Studies until he died in 2018, according to the Sept. 13 complaint.

According to the complaint, Columbia negotiated a publishing contract without the foundation’s permission, infringed the foundation’s trademarks by publishing...

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