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Iran to display ten 'forgotten' Picasso artworks, and other modern masterpieces Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iran to display ten 'forgotten' Picasso artworks, and other modern masterpieces

Iran has one of the richest collections of modern art in the world [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 August, 2018

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Iran has one of the richest collections of modern art in the world. Some pieces are about to be revealed to the public for the first time in decades.

Some of the world's most treasured works of art will go on display in Iran next year, with pieces by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko and others about to be revealed to the public for the first time in decades.

Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art will open its landmark "Portrait, Still-life, Landscape" exhibition next year, which will see modern masterpieces that have been kept under lock-and-key since the 1979 Islamic Revolution finally come to light.

Between 400 and 500 works will be selected from thousands of works storied in the museum's vaults for the exhibition set to take place between February and April 2019, according to The Art Newspaper.

Among the pieces expected to be revealed for the first time in decades are ten "forgotten" works by Spanish modernist painter Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition has been two years in the making and comes after workers renovated the museum's storage facility.

It allowed the experts to conduct some "contemporary archaeology" and uncover lost works of art in the vaults of the Tehran art museum.

Among the works re-discovered were ten previously "lost" works by Spanish maestro Picasso, Dutch architect and curator Mattijs Visser told The Art Newspaper.

The pieces selected by Visser are expected to offer a valuable insight into modern artworks forgotten treasures.

The curator said he does not expect any of the works he selected to be rejected for display by censors as he is "not interested in provocation". 

He did say he opted out of selecting a male nude by Francis Bacon, recently found in the archives.

"There are other Francis Bacon works, I don't need to show one that is provoking," he said.

It was hoped that the end of US sanctions would allow some of these works to be shipped to Germany for display, but several attempts to manage this failed.

The works of art were collected by Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran, who was overthrown in 1979 following popular protests.

The theocracy that ruled after his downfall associated the artworks with the decadence of the old regime and chose to have them hidden from public view.

Iran's regime has occasionally allowed some of these paintings to go on display, such as pieces by Mark Rothko in 2015.



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