Iran launches center to fight art counterfeiters and raise public awareness 

March 7, 2022 - 18:35

TEHRAN – Iran launched a foundation on Sunday to evaluate the authenticity of artworks in auction sales and gain people’s recognition of art in their homes.

A team of artists, including calligraphers Javad Bakhtiari, Banafsheh Mesripur and Mohammad-Ali Sabzekar, came together in a meeting organized at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to announce the launching of the center entitled “Mahestan-e Honar Foundation”.

“The foundation also aims to raise the standards of aesthetics in society and public knowledge of art by organizing meetings and workshops with the help of all art elites and cultural figures,” said Bakhtiari who is also the director of the founding board.

In its first mission, the foundation, which has chosen “Iranian Art, Global Citizen” as its slogan, will seek to register the Iranian calligraphy style, nastaliq, with UNESCO, he noted.

“In this way, we welcome every contribution from everybody, because our neighboring countries are registering Iranian arts in the international arena for themselves,” he added.

He also announced the foundation’s plan to change Iranian people’s attitude on their home decorations, and said, “Iranian people usually exploit carpets, furniture and machine-made sculptures to decorate their dwellings, but we have plans to divert their attention away from these items and encourage them to use artworks in decorating their residences.”

The foundation also will launch the annual Mahestan Awards to honor top artworks of the year in various media.

For her part, Mesripur, who is also the director of the foundation, said that the foundation has also been assigned the task of designing programs for nationwide art expos and festivals and arranging solo and group art exhibitions.   

“The exhibitions will not be technique-oriented; on the contrary, they will be focused on concepts to develop people’s taste for genuine arts,” she noted.

“We will also seek to organize art exhibitions outside the country and also arrange expos to showcase works of overseas artists in Iran to promote peace and friendship among nations,” Mesripur said.

Sabzekar also pointed to the counterfeit artworks offered in the Iranian auctions over the past few years and said that the foundation’s mission to evaluate the genuineness of artworks will help the auctions to restore their reputation.

Photo: Calligraphers Javad Bakhtiari and Banafsheh Mesripur attend a press conference in Tehran on March 6, 2022 to announce the launching of the Mahestan-e Honar Foundation.


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