Iran keeps Picassos in basement

Kim Murphy in the Los Angeles Times:

Screenhunter_22_sep_23_2357We are not talking about the paintings on the wall at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, which Sadeghi directs. Those are, at the moment, a stylish if bland collection of Iranian textile and costume design for the fashion-conscious and appropriately modest Iranian woman.

No, we’re talking about the outlaw paintings in the basement, locked in the museum’s vault. Not just the Picassos — the Kandinskys, the Miros, the Warhols. The Monet, the Pissarro, the Toulouse-Lautrec, the Van Gogh. Possibly the best Jackson Pollock outside the U.S.

Ruled by one of the most vehemently anti-Western governments in the world, Iran is, by many assessments, home to the most extensive collection of late 19th and 20th century Western art outside the West. It is a treasure trove of masters that is all but forgotten outside knowledgeable art circles because, for all but a few of the last 30 years, it has been virtually unseen.

More here.  [Thanks to Ruchira Paul.]