Culture Ministry Closes Gallery for Exhibiting Vulgar Art
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance ordered the closure of Asar photo gallery in Tehran on charges that it displayed works by an Iranian photographer, which were "vulgar and contravened Islamic principles".
The works displayed in the gallery were confiscated and the gallery was shut down after "a review of a brochure (of the photographic exhibition) showed that the images were contrary to Islamic dignity and even offensive to religious sanctities," Mahmoud Shalou'i, the director of the visual arts office of the Guidance Ministry said.
Asar began displaying the photographs of Payman Houshmandzadeh on 23 November and the works were due to remain on display until 2 December.
But the Guidance Ministry ordered the gallery to dismount Houshmandzadeh's photographs on 24 November, and the gallery itself was shut down on Wednesday on charges of failing to comply with a directive of the ministry which requires photo galleries to submit a CD of the works to be exhibited before opening.
The ministry's Center for Visual Arts announced on Tuesday that the exhibition had been organized without any previous agreement with the center.
All art shows should be authorized by the center, which is an affiliate of the Culture Ministry.
Houshmandzadeh's photographs show people appearing in a frame similar to the windshield of a car on which various decals with short phrases are affixed.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance today said that some of these decals display religious phrases.