By Faranak Bakhtiari

Italian embassy opens exhibition in honor of Iranian legendary wrestler Gholamreza Takhti

August 13, 2021 - 17:56

TEHRAN – The Italian Embassy in Tehran inaugurated on Thursday an exhibit to pay homage to Gholamreza Takhti, the Iranian wrestling icon, national hero and symbol of sportsmanship and hospitality, who passed away at the age of 37 in 1968.

Titled “Gholamreza Takhti, Portraits of a Champion” the event opened at the gardens of the residence of Giuseppe Perrone, the Italian Ambassador in Tehran.

The exhibit features 29 works by four Iranian artists (Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Yasamin Khorsandi, Behdad Panjehzadeh, and Behzad Shishegaran) portraying different imagery of internationally famous Iranian wrestling champion Gholamreza Takhti, winner of Olympic medals in three successive editions of the games (silver in Helsinki 1952, gold in Melbourne 1956, silver in Rome 1960).

Takhti was a truly unifying figure for Iranians, the Italian envoy saysRenowned not just for his extraordinary sports skills, but also for his unique human side, his fair play towards fellow athletes, his commitment to helping the poor and the more disadvantaged in society, Gholamreza Takhti over the years has become an icon of pop and contemporary art, being portrayed in the works of many Iranian artists, some of which are part of the collections of famous international museums, including the British Museum in London.

In his opening remarks at the inaugural event at the Italian Residence in Tehran, Perrone emphasized the importance of Gholamreza Takhti’s figure as an athlete and as a man and the wide appreciation and respect he continues to enjoy today, after more than 50 years from his passing, with Iranians of all walks of life.

Perrone also stressed the close and friendly relations existing between Italy and Iran as far as sports are concerned, particularly when it comes to cooperation in such popular disciplines as football, volleyball, wrestling, and fencing.

The exhibit “Gholamreza Takhti, Portraits of a Champion”, which will remain open until September 1, comes after the screening always at the residence of the Italian Ambassador in Tehran of the premiere of the documentary “The Man” by Ali Shahmohammadi which took place on July 24.

Takhti symbol of Iranians' generosity, hospitality: Italian envoy

Takhti was not only an athlete but a role model, who was admired by all Iranians in all aspects of life, still, he is respected by the nation, Italian Ambassador in Tehran, Giuseppe Perrone told the Tehran Times.

He went on to say that Takhti was a truly unifying figure for Iranians, so that he became an inspiring character for the artists, as he was a symbol of generosity, positive values, and kindness, which made him remain in the hearts of all Iranians.

Referring to the reason why to choose the inspiring champion, he noted that with the beginning of the Olympics, we decided to tell a story that why sport is uplifting and how it unifies people, and the best figure to evoke the story was Gholamreza Takhti.

Pointing to the purpose behind organizing such events, he stated that it was also a way to introduce the true character of Iranians to the world, their generosity, hospitality, helpfulness, fairness towards fellow human beings.

Gholamreza Takhti, a man who really fought in his life and helped the poor and respected his fellow athletes along with being so respectful, embodies the character and values of the Iranian nation, he concluded.

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