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Art in the Tehran Metro

Tehran’s Metro offers a possibly unexpected store of modern artwork for the visitor to see as they go on their way in the city.

London is said to be the site of the first metropolitan underground railway, operational from 1863, and Moscow’s subway system is considered to be practically a museum of socialist realist art of the 20th Century, whilst Tehran’s Metro which became operational in 1999 showcases a mix of modern art styles.

But what is its artistic value, and do works of art have a place in a public transport system? Should snazzy decor suffice, or is there space for unique works of art from the school of ‘futurism’?

The Metro in Tehran is generally much cleaner than the streets above it, and with its own unique decorative style. It is a public space with interesting embossing, engravings and sculptures on the walls, yet it is not a gallery, museum or exhibition centre, but full of people wanting to pass through in as little time as possible.

In the multimedia report on this page we visit the Tehran Metro to catch a taste of its art.

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