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Iran ponders legal action against authors of "Iran Modern: The Empress of Art"

By Manijeh Rezapoor, Tehran Times

TEHRAN - Iran's Visual Arts Office director Hadi Mozaffari said on Monday that the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is considering taking legal action against the writers of "Iran Modern: The Empress of Art" published in New York last September.

Iran Modern: The Empress of Art

"Iran Modern: The Empress of Art" uncovers the last journey of Iran's former empress Farah Pahlavi, focusing on her contributions to the establishment of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA), its rare collection, and display of modern art in Iran before the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The ministry claims that Iran's rights to the topics discussed in the book written by Viola Raikhel-Bolot and Miranda Darling have been disregarded by the authors.

Iran's Visual Arts Office director Hadi Mozaffari

"When the book was published in 2018, it was translated into Persian and studied by the lawyers of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance," Mozaffari said in a press conference held at the TMCA to brief the media about a restoration process currently underway at the museum.

"The issue was also discussed with several lawyers residing in other countries and we will take legal action if necessary", he said

Director of the museum Ehsan Aqai also noted that the pictures published in the book are of very low quality compared to the existing art books.

He also said that he believes the book is more political, aiming to introduce the Pahlavi family rather than present the treasure trove.

The TMCA is home to works by many august artists of the West, including Claude Monet, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte, Duane Hanson and Chuck Close.

"Iran Modern: The Empress of Art" was released by the Assouline Publishing House in New York in September 2018.

The 200-page book contains a foreword by Farah Pahlavi who unveiled it during a ceremony in London in November 2018.

Raikhel-Bolot is also the managing director and co-founder of Art Advisory, an international firm that works with some of the biggest names in modern art and collecting.

Elsewhere, Mozaffari gave some details of the restoration process of the museum, and said that 60 percent of the renovation has been accomplished.

ایران مدرن؛ کتابی تازه درباره "گنجینه نهفته" در موزه هنرهای معاصر تهران

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