Art And Culture

Berlin to Display Tehran’s World-Class Modern Art Collection

Berlin to Display Tehran’s  World-Class Modern Art Collection
Berlin to Display Tehran’s  World-Class Modern Art Collection

Works of art by many of the 20th-century greats are being lent by the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art along with works by Iranian artists for a show in Berlin next year.

The announcement was made last week by the State Museums Berlin and the Prussian Cultural Foundation, following an agreement in Tehran during German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier’s recent visit.

Steinmeier said in a statement that the exhibition “will help complete our picture of Iran and allow Iran to improve access to our culture.”

It is still to be announced which works from the Tehran museum’s collection will be shown for three months in Berlin, but they could include ones by Picasso, Pollock, Francis Bacon and Monet, which were acquired in the 1970s, reported.

The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1977. In the past few years, many of the museum pieces have been shown in exhibitions in Tehran. It is considered the best collection of 20th-century American and European art outside the West.

While a few works have been lent in the past, this planned large-scale loan will be the first since the improvement of relations between Iran and Europe after the July 14 nuclear deal was reached with the world’s major powers.

Dr. Shiva Balaghi, a visiting scholar at Brown University, Rhode Island, in the US says: “A succession of Iranian museum curators and administrators has worked to put together the collection and maintain it over decades. This is a testament to a fundamental respect for the arts.”

She further said, “That this collection now serves as a foundation for greater collaboration between Iranian art institutions and those abroad is another indication of art’s ability to create alternative contexts for mutual understanding and appreciation.”

Balaghi is a cultural historian of the Middle East, who has published widely on contemporary Iranian visual art. She is also vice-president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies.