The Iranian museum holds a superb collection of contemporary art work. The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts has accumulated more than 300 works by famous artists, including Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Iran agreed to loan "Mural on Indian Red Ground," a masterpiece by Pollock (1912-1956) for exhibition in Japan.
Pollock is known for his unique style of dripping paint on canvases placed on the floor, contributing to the creation of so-called action art. Pollock died at the age of 44 in a traffic accident, and his paintings were highly prized following his death, increasing their value sharply.
The Pollock painting bought by Iran in 1976 was appraised recently by a large auction house at 250 million dollars (about 20 billion yen). It has exceeded the price of Pollock's painting titled "No. 5, 1948" which sold for 140 million dollars in 2006 and was reported as the world's most expensive painting at the time.
The museum opened in 1977 in Tehran, a year before the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Ehsan Aghayi, deputy director of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, said Iran had been careful to protect western art after the Islamic Revolution.
Aghayi also pointed out the Iranian government could have raised large sums of money by selling these works during the Iraqi Imposed War on Iran (1980-88), but it chose not to, storing the collection respectfully.
Nozomu Takaoka, minister and deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Tehran, said, Iran's decision to loan the Pollock painting indicated it valued its ties with Japan.
"There's no doubt it's a sign Iran considers relations with Japan important because the country has allowed the painting to be exhibited," he said
Takaoka made efforts to realize the first exhibit of the Pollock's painting from Iran abroad.
Takaoka said, "On this occasion, I hope cooperation in various areas can develop between the two nations."
The exhibition "Jackson Pollock: A Centennial Retrospective," organized by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other organizations, will be held at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya from Friday to Jan. 22, and at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, from Feb. 10 to May 6.