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Tehran’s Masterpieces of Western Art

A unique collection of masterpieces by great western artists has been put on show in Tehran. The exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Tehran (26th May-
6th July) includes rarely seen famous works by leading artists such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, Miro, Monet, Toulouse Lautrec and Renoir.

The works of art were purchased during the 1970s on the initiative of Queen Farah and the collection was put together by her cousin, Kamran Diba, the museum's architect and first director, for its opening in 1977. They were kept on display until the revolution in 1979 when museum staff moved them to the basement to protect them.

It is considered to be the most important and comprehensive collection of western art outside the western world and is thought to be worth billions of dollars on the international art market. It was once displayed at the museum in 2005, but otherwise the treasures have usually been kept behind a high-security door in the museum’s basement and occasionally shown on request to visiting artists or art students.

In this multimedia report we are taken on a tour of the exhibition and hear the comments of some art students and experts who have seen these masterpieces for the first time.

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