ID : N-1425 Date : 2018/03/08 - 11:48
(Persia Digest) – France 24 website and The Guardian have reported on the unprecedented exhibition of masterpieces brought over from the Louvre in Paris to be displayed in Tehran.
France 24 has written about France’s efforts to revive its traditional ties with Iran and The Guardian has called the exhibition the flourishing of Iranian-French cultural diplomacy, despite the continued undercurrents of Iran’s nuclear program.
State-owned France 24 reports that the 90-day exhibition in Tehran is the outcome of two years of hard work which began from the time the cultural exchange treaty was signed by the two presidents Hassan Rouhani and Emmanuel Macron between Iran and France in Paris in January 2016.
President of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, who traveled to Iran for the opening, believes: “Relations between Iran and France go back in history. The French were the pioneers of archaeological excavations in Iran. This unprecedented exhibition in a country with an old civilization will provide us with the opportunity to bridge our two cultures going back to the 19th century.”
One of the Louvre curators, Julien Canny, who is also an expert on Iran, talked about the two countries in Tehran: “At the turn of the 19th century, France’s priorities pivoted around cultural topics. It was the only country at that time working on excavations in Iran. Iranian leaders who were not too keen on entrusting everything into Russian and British hands, assigned cultural affairs mostly to the French. Following the revolution years in Iran, France managed to keep its good name among Iranians, despite a decline in British, American, and Russian popularity.”
A French diplomatic source also told France 24: “When the British were looking for oil in Iran, we were more involved in archaeological projects. Our relations are based on positive affairs.”
The Louvre Instagram page also referred to the opening of “The Louvre in Tehran”, saying the exhibition was an outstanding cultural and diplomatic event for both countries.
UK paper, The Guardian, adopted a more political approach towards the exhibition and wrote: “The Louvre has opened a show in Tehran billed as the first large-scale exhibition by a major western museum in the country, as French cultural diplomacy thrives despite tensions between Iran and Europe over the nuclear deal.”