What a party! For three nights in a row, dancers, performers, half-naked figures in shaggy red costumes and fantastic creatures shackled to one another writhed through the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) while scantily clad men danced in front of a painting by Picasso. In the midst of it all were the Shah and his wife FarahDiba, Empress of Iran and initiator of the museum. While Iran’s ruler had more of a penchant for tanks and fast cars, he joined his wife for a night at the museum – and an embarrassing moment. That night in 1977 was like no other in Iran, before or after. Celebrities from around the world – including the US vice president – traveled to Tehran for the opening of a museum designed to be a symbol, putting the country – oriented toward the West at that time – firmly on the map of international art, and amazing the world with a unique collection. Undocumented fauxpas “I was very young and at the time, I didn’t know much about the art being celebrated there,” says Jila Dejam, who had the only official license to take photos at the museum. She shudders, however, when remembering the… Read full this story
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