Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli’s nightingales chanting love song for health workers  

May 2, 2020 - 18:28

TEHRAN – Vancouver-based prominent Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli has made a series of limited-edition medallions to raise funds for the hospitals in his native country fighting COVID-19, the Art Newspaper has reported.

“I am extremely impressed by how Iranian healthcare workers are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, and what they are accomplishing with a bare minimum of equipment,” said Tanavoli, who is known as the father of modern Iranian sculpture.

He also added that due to harsh sanctions imposed by the U.S. as well as plunging oil revenues, Iran has been “devastated” by the crisis.

“I wanted to show my appreciation as an Iranian—not just as an artist,” Tanavoli noted.

The design for the medallion depicting a nightingale singing on the palm of a hand and a cypress tree on the flip side was created at the end of March. It was sent to expert craftsmen in Tehran that he has worked with before. They produced molds and began casting a limited edition of 100 bronze medallions, which are on sale for $600, and 20 silver medallions, priced at $1,500 each. 

Tanavoli said that in Iranian folklore, the nightingale is a lucky bird bearing good news who “brings the message of the beloved to the lovers” while the cypress tree is a symbol of long life.

The cypress motif on the medallions bears an inscription reading, “This medal is designed to commemorate the heroic endeavors of all healthcare workers worldwide who are risking their own lives to save the lives of others.”

The medallions are set against a background of hundreds of vertical lines representing the Iranian people, says the artist.
 
They each come wrapped in a turquoise ribbon representing “healthy lungs”. Twenty of the medallions have sold in the past two days, mainly to members of the Iranian diaspora, who like the artist, “want to do something” to help their countrymen from afar, Tanavoli says.

The medallions can be ordered by emailing pr@tanavolimuseum.com

Photo: Parviz Tanavoli’s medallion, which he is selling to help hospitals in Iran during the coronavirus pandemic.

MMS/YAW

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