Mohammad Hossein Imani Khoshkhu went on to say that Iran falls behind other countries in the realm of culture-related industries if officials overlook the economic issues of art, Tehran Times reported.
Director of the Visual Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mahmud Shaluii, advisor to the culture minister Mohammad Hossein Nirumand and several Iranian artists Mahmud Farshchian, Ahmad Esfandiari, Javad Hamidi, Mansureh Hosseini attended the ceremony.
"Iranian artworks are warmly received by international markets in recent years but artists should be aware that emphasis on upscale art will lead to a reduction of customers and gradually slow down the art economy," he added.
Iranian artwork attracts many customers from other countries including Turkey, the Netherlands and France. Artists should participate in the world art market otherwise their works will be preserved only in museums, he mentioned.
"The Visual Art Center will sponsor any state and private art expos nationwide and we are ready to hold regional art expos in other Iranian cities," he mentioned.
At the ceremony, world renowned master of painting and miniatures Farshchian stressed on the importance of paying homage to veteran Iranian artists as well as being concerned about the economic situation of art in Iran.
"Artists should be responsible for their own creations. They should honor their own talent and be aware of the value of their capabilities," he mentioned.
A portion of expo's income will be donated to UNICEF and for children who are under the support of the Iranian State Welfare Organization, art critic Akbar Alami announced during the ceremony.
A collection of 1500 works by 750 artists is currently on display at the expo. Over 50 galleries along with different institutes, including Saba, Esmaeilzadeh and Aftab, are taking part in the event.
The second edition of Tehran Art Expo will continue through January 4.