Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Iran keeps Picassos in basement

This is a very interesting report, by LA Times here is a part of it, the photo is from the paper.

Iran is, by many assessments, home to the most extensive collection of late 19th and 20th century Western art outside the West. It is a treasure trove of masters that is all but forgotten outside knowledgeable art circles because, for all but a few of the last 30 years, it has been virtually unseen...

...Sadeghi says there are plans afoot to build a major national gallery in Tehran to put the paintings on permanent display, along with the museum's extensive collection of Iranian contemporary art, and acquire new works -- a Cezanne, perhaps -- to fill in the holes in the Tehran collection.

"The way you approached me in your letter suggested that we do not appreciate this collection. On the contrary. I myself am an artist and sculptor; I have a PhD in art research. I have participated in 44 international exhibitions. My wife is an artist. My daughter is an artist. Do you imagine we would not safeguard this collection?"This collection is near to our soul. It is a precious thing for us, we keep it like the apple of our eye. But we also believe the collection of the vault belongs to the whole of humanity."

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