Louvre claims it gave no commitment to hold exhibit in Iran

May 1, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- The Louvre has announced that the museum made no firm commitment to hold an exhibit in Tehran.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed between the Louvre and Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism and Handicrafts (CHTHO) in 2004, the two sides stated that they were ready to expand collaboration in the areas of research and holding exhibitions, officials of the Louvre public relations told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency in a short Internet interview.
They said that holding an exhibit or an educational course had been considered in signing certain contracts, but the Louvre had not made a firm commitment to organize a show in Tehran.
In April 4, CHTHO Director Hamid Baqaii, who is also the vice president for executive affairs and the caretaker of the Presidential Office, said that Iran cut its cultural links with the Louvre as the museum continued to renege on its agreements with the country.
“According to an agreement with the Louvre from years ago, the museum promised to organize an exhibition to display a collection of its Persian artifacts in Iran, but it has not fulfilled its commitments,” he stated.
Iran loaned artifacts from the Safavid era (1501–1736) for “The Song of the World” exhibition, which was held at the Louvre from October 5, 2007 to January 7, 2008.
Baqaii said that the Louvre had promised to organize an exhibit in Iran to showcase a collection of its Persian artifacts in return.
Baqaii’s comment was confirmed by Mohammadreza Kargar, who was the curator of the National Museum of Iran in 2004 when the memorandum of understanding was inked by be the CHTHO and the Louvre.
According the MOU, the Louvre officials had promised to organize a showcase of their Persian artifacts in Tehran in return for Iran’s loaning artifacts from the Safavid era for “The Song of the World” exhibition at the Louvre in 2007 and 2008, Kargar told Mehr.