Tehran Ariana Gallery gets warning over Tahmineh Milani exhibition 

May 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Ariana Gallery, a major art center in Tehran, has received an official warning over organizing an exhibition of paintings by the renowned Iranian filmmaker Tahmiah Milani who was accused of plagiarism again in her second exhibition.

The warning was issued by the Supervisory Council for Gallery Activities, which is composed of the Visual Arts Office director Hadi Mozaffari, his assistant, several painters and gallery owners.

“Ariana Gallery has not properly observed professional regulations in ascertaining the authenticity and quality of the artworks,” the council wrote in its statement.

The council also asked Iranian gallery owners to be more careful to ascertain the genuineness and quality of artworks before organizing any showcase.

“Because, any carelessness and mistake would result in the art community’s distrust of a certain gallery and provoke controversy over visual art issues,” the council added.

The council also noted that the accusation of plagiarism in this case will be investigated if a certain person files a lawsuit against Milani.           

In a three-day exhibition, which opened without any prior announcement on April 26, Ariana Gallery showcased a collection of Milani’s paintings, some of which were copies of original works by several artists, including Matteo Arfanotti, Sara Riches, Richard Burlet and Masumeh Mehdizadeh.

After facing accusations of plagiarism in her exhibit titled “The Other One”, Milani wrote in a post published on her Instagram, “In this way, I draw inspiration from everything and everyone.”

Earlier in September 2018, Milani created a media frenzy by copying several other artists’ works in her first exhibition “The Movies I Have Not Made” held at Tehran’s E1 Gallery.

The gallery cancelled the exhibition following an allegation of plagiarism from a painting by Russian illustrator Jenny Meilihove.

Afterwards, Milani said that she has filed a lawsuit in a Tehran court against the gallery over closing her painting exhibition early.

Photo: This combination photo shows French artist Richard Burlet’s painting copied by Tahmineh Milani.

MMS/YAW

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