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'Persian Arts' expo attracts over one million European viewers

Director of National Museum of Iran Mohammad Reza Kargar said in Madrid on Sunday that more than one million viewers have so far been attracted to the '7,000-Year Persian Art Expo' across Europe, IRNA reported.

Kargar told IRNA that the exposition was earlier held in Austria, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain in the past three years; adding that it is scheduled to be held in the American continent in future.

The three-month exhibition opened in the city of Saragossa in northern Spain last week. A set of unique historical artifacts of high value consisting of 178 pieces of handicrafts and other art objects are showcased in the ongoing exposition.

The objects currently on show date back to the period between the seventh millennium BC and the ninth century AD.

"The exhibition has exposed the Europeans, particularly the scholars and people of culture to a different aspect of Iran and has contributed to development of a new approach towards Iran among the people of Europe to make them interested in visiting the country," added Kargar.

He said that the people in the southern Spanish city of Seville, where the exhibition was held earlier, were so keen to view it that they had formed long queues.

The museum director referred to the call by various European and American countries to host such an exposition, release of almost 300 reports on it in their press, dozens of hours of programs and films about Iran broadcast on European televisions, including a 16-hour program in Austria, and their deep interest in Iran's culture and civilization as among the effective impacts of the specified exposition.

"Over 30,000 volumes of a 300-page catalog introducing the culture and civilization of Iran in various languages along with a number of related films have so far been sold," he noted.

According to him, the exposition presented in Europe for the first time in the post-revolutionary era introduces Iran's culture and civilization to the West in a most lively, real and firmly-documented approach.

Kargar said that one of the objectives of the event is to strengthen proper grounds for the issue of Iranology in European universities.

"In line with the same objective, an Iranology institute has been established in Austria and similar measures are also underway in other countries," he added.

Turning to change of European's approach towards Iran as another objective for organizing the art event, he said that a large number of officials visiting the exposition have admitted that they have no option than bow to the might and grandeur of the ancient Iranian civilization.

"The entire associated expenses of the exhibition are covered by the hosting country. Iran has so far undergone no expenses in this respect, but has even gained a revenue of rls 10 billion.

"The artifacts on show are under insurance coverage by authorized international insurance companies and their exchange has taken place in accordance with the current international laws and regulations," he added.

Turning to the fact that the the cabinet has authorized holding the ongoing exposition overseas, he said that the objects currently on display have been transferred abroad under tight security measures.

He underlined that fortunately, so far no damage has been inflicted on the objects in question.

The current exposition has been held in the cities of Valencia and Seville in eastern and southern Spain respectively in the past six months. It was transferred to Saragossa last week.

The '7,000-Year Persian Art Expo' is scheduled to be held in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compotsela, once the current display is over.

... Payvand News - 3/7/04 ... --

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