Speaking at the presentation ceremony of the Imam Hussein (AS) Calligraphy Festival in Isfahan on Saturday, he lamented, "We can make no progress in art and culture with the low budget allocated by the government for activities in these areas.
"We should stop praising ourselves and take a realistic look at what we have actually achieved.
"Countries such as Qatar and Dubai are seeking to make history as well as to nurture great talents, while we who possess such an ancient and profound culture and great artistic abilities have fallen short in our capacity to showcase the reality of this treasury to the world."
Amirkhani also denounced the cultural officials for their small contribution to world programs currently being held for the 800th birth anniversary of the Persian poet and mystic Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi and said that they have been neglecting the great luminaries of Iran.
"Iran ranks first in the world for the diversity of its art whilst China and India rank second and third.
However when we consider the importance and value which we attach to our arts we cannot even begin to compare ourselves with East Asian countries -- our officials should learn from Malaysia," he remarked.
... Payvand News - 8/19/07 ... --