People, Travel

Private Museums Increasing in Iran

Private Museums Increasing
Private Museums Increasing

The number of private museums in Iran is surpassing that of state-run museums, having doubled to 66 in less than four years.

"Prior to President Hassan Rouhani's administration, there were only 33 privately-owned museums in Iran, so we've registered a 100% growth," said Mohammad Reza Kargar, director of the Museums and Historical Moveable Properties Office at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Underlining the current government's policies on facilitating privatization and private ownership, Kargar said supporting private ownership of museums is one of the organization's priorities, Mehr News Agency reported.

"Iran's history, culture, arts and sciences are so rich that they cannot be comprehensively covered by a single entity (the ICHHTO) alone. We expect ministers, NGOs, private institutes and even a single person to join the effort and help revive and preserve their history and heritage by establishing museums," he said.

Kargar said private museums can meet parts of their expenses by selling tickets and holding training courses, temporary expos, restoration workshops and sales of handicrafts.

"Owners of these museums can also apply for loans to equip their establishment," he said.

The official said over 25 million people visited museums last year, which indicates that Iranians are interested in historical and cultural artifacts.

"The provinces of Tehran and Isfahan have the highest number of private museums but other provinces are also catching up," Kargar said.

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