By Gayane Danielian and Ashot Adamian
A first-ever exhibition of modern Armenian art was held in Iran earlier this month when around 110 non-classical paintings by some 30 contemporary Armenian artists went on display in Tehran's Museum of Modern Art.
A seven-member delegation of artists headed by Henrik Igitian, the director of Yerevan Museum of Modern Art participated in the exhibition.
In an interview with RFE/RL, Igitian praised the Iranian authorities who had organized the event, as well as the art community and the public for their warm reception and their great interest in the exhibition. Asked if the exhibited paintings passed through any censorship before the exhibition, Igitian said that the only limitation imposed was the ban on including paintings of naked human figures.
Igitian said he was impressed by the collection of pictures at the Tehran Museum of Modern Art. Paintings by great western artists such as Pablo Picasso, attest to the fact that "Iran is a serious country". He said he was also “astonished” by the degree of attention the Iranian government pays to the country's cultural heritage, historical monuments and visiting foreign artists.
According to Igitian, the Tehran museum had been completely emptied of its existing collection, in order to accommodate the paintings from Armenia. "The exhibition was a success. Iranians do not know us as we do not know them. This exhibition was the start of a new relationship based on professionalism between our museums and ministries of culture" he said. " Iranian artists have a unique style that one must see" he added.