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The art of Iran is an eclectic mix of styles and motifs drawn from different encounters with foreign peoples but fused together to produce a distinctive and harmonious look which is distinctly – and wonderfully – Persian.

Persia, or modern-day Iran, lies at the heart of world civilisations. Its strategic position on the world map helps explain its importance as a conduit through which world cultures have passed and as a hub of civilisation which has had a profound influence upon all societies it has encountered. The Persians under the Achaemenid dynasty (559–331 BC) were the first people to create a world-empire, the largest and most influential before Alexander. Encompassing twenty-three disparate lands and peoples, from Libya to India and from southern Russia to the Indian Ocean, it held together for 230 years. Exceptionally for the ancient world, it was built on the principles of tolerance and harmony.

Under the Sasanian shahs (224–651 AD), Persia went head to head in a power struggle with Rome and it was in this era that Iranian culture spread into the west, ultimately having a profound effect upon the Byzantine culture of the Christian world. The coming of Islam to Iran through the Arab invasion saw a hiatus in the spread of Persian culture, but ultimately even the Arabs were ‘Persianized.’

This day gives the opportunity to become familiar with objects of supreme historical and cultural significance. The V&A and British Museum hold rich and important collections of Persian artefacts which between them tell the story of Iran from its ancient past to its vibrant present.


10.15am, British Museum


c. 4.30pm, V&A


£215. This includes lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments, one Underground journey and donations to the museums.

More information about London Days gift vouchers

Group size

Maximum 14 participants



We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.


Map: London Days.

'After a visit to Iran, it was the ideal opportunity to remind and learn more about this fascintating civilisaton.'

'I learned so much from Lloyd in a short time, I really wish I'd had this session with him in the BM before my trip to Iran. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious, he obviously wants us to share his enjoyment of his subject. I think his tours must be great fun, as well as packed with information put across in such an easy to absorb way.'

'A day in erudite company in London was just a great treat.'