Art And Culture

A Treasury the World is Waiting to Glimpse

A Treasury the World is Waiting to GlimpseA Treasury the World is Waiting to Glimpse

Iranian and western artworks among the treasured collections of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) will be sent to Berlin and Rome later this year to be shown at museums there.

The TMoCA owns an impressive collection of artworks by great Iranian artists including Manoucher Yektai, Sohrab Sepehri, Mansour Ghandriz, Faramarz Pilaram and Nasser Assar as well as western artists Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, among others.

What is noteworthy is in what way the proceeds from the exhibitions will be used since the museum is in need of funds to update most of its facilities which are four decades old, Mehr News Agency reported.

Majid Mollanoroozi, director of the museum and head of Visual Arts Department at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, said if the government agrees, the proceeds from the foreign exhibitions will be used to equip and update the museum facilities.

As the museum belongs to the Culture Ministry, “the cash collected from the exhibitions have to be first transferred to the state treasury, a part of which is deducted, and then it is given back to the Culture Ministry and later allocated to the museum in the fiscal year that follows,” Mollanoroozi noted.

In fact, this way the government controls earnings of different affiliated organizations and doesn’t allow the income of its subsidiaries go directly to them.

However, to make the most of the financial gains, “we have negotiated with a foundation to get our sponsorship and do the advertising in exchange for cash in advance, in order to equip the museum and add new facilities.”

For instance, if $1.7 million is earned at the exhibitions, “we will buy museum facilities worth the same value.”

 Safety Guaranteed

Exhibiting treasured artworks of foreign countries has always been common in the world. “After all, we have a treasury which the world wants to see. In order to move them safely to another country, we will have the best insurance companies insure the works,” Mollanoroozi said.

The main purpose is to showcase works of Iranian artists to the global audience. “Iranian artworks are known in the Middle East but not so much globally to be displayed at museums; as a rule, if we want to show our works in a city like Berlin, we should suffice only with a gallery,” he added.

But at the upcoming exhibitions, 30 Iranian art pieces will be seen in the world museums along with 30 foreign works of the treasured collection of the TMoCA.

Last year Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Foundation - which manages Berlin’s state museums - and Mollanoroozi, signed a contract to display the collection in Berlin.

At that time, Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told ‘Tagesspiegel’ that the exhibition will serve as a “signal for cultural and societal opening” between Iran and Germany.

Also Giovanna Melandri, the president of Rome’s MaXXi museum, met Mollanoroozi to “expand relations” between the two institutions.

It will be the first time the closely-guarded works will be exhibited outside Iran.

The Tehran museum has more than 4,000 items that include 19th and 20th century’s world-class Iranian, European and American paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures.

The museum has occasionally showcased a number of artworks in recent years. A part of the collection was on display from November 2015 until February 2016 besides the retrospective exhibition of the late Iranian abstract painter Farideh Lashai.