Louvre Museum Head, ICHHTO Discuss Ties

Louvre Museum Head, ICHHTO Discuss Ties Louvre Museum Head, ICHHTO Discuss Ties

Tehran and Paris believe the post-sanctions era presents an opportunity for the two sides to engage in archeological and cultural research.

President of the Louvre Museum Jean-Luc Martinez, who arrived in Tehran on Saturday, met with Masoud Soltanifar, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.  

“With the lifting of economic sanctions, French researchers are keen on visiting Iran,” Martinez said in a meeting with Soltanifar and Muhammad Beheshti, director of the Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism on Saturday.

Martinez is heading a seven-member delegation on a four-day trip to boost ties with the ICHHTO and Iranian museums, ISNA reported.

In January, the landmark nuclear deal signed in July 2015 between Iran and the six major world powers (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) went into effect, which saw Iran curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of crippling economic sanctions. The accord has opened up the lucrative Iranian market to international investors.

  Joint Exhibitions

Pointing to Iran’s rich history and abundance of historical and cultural heritage sites, Soltanifar said joint archeological research may be an area of interest to academia from both countries.

“Iran is looking to expand its research and cultural cooperation with other countries, especially France and the Louvre,” he added. The official suggested holding joint exhibitions in Iran and France, which Martinez welcomed.

“The French people are eager to learn more about Iranian culture,” he said.

  Training and Conservation Projects

Showcasing rare and priceless artifacts and works of art is not the only job of the Louvre, according to Beheshti.

“They’re also involved in training competent researchers and curators, as well as conservation efforts,” he said, adding that collaboration between the museum and Iran in the past can help revive cordial relations once again.

During President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France in January, Soltanifar and Beheshti visited the Louvre at the invitation of Martinez, where they signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen ties in the fields of arts and archeology.

With over nine million annual visitors, the Louvre is the second most visited museum in the world, trailing the Palace Museum in Beijing, which receives about 14 million visitors every year.