Ayandeh Bank co-sponsors ‘The Louvre at Tehran’

Ayandeh Bank co-sponsors ‘The Louvre at Tehran’

Ayandeh Bank is one of the three sponsors of “The Louvre in Tehran”, the first large-scale exhibition by a major Western museum in Iran and an outstanding cultural and diplomatic event for the country and France. 
Under the motto “Ayandeh Bank, Patron of Global Culture and Civilization”, the move is in line with the bank’s social responsibility. 
Organized by the National Museum of Iran and the Musée du Louvre, the exhibition is co-sponsored by the Total Foundation and the Groupe Renault in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation.
The Louvre at Tehran
The Louvre in Tehran is the first large-scale exhibition by a major Western museum in Iran and an outstanding cultural and diplomatic event for both countries. Its opening coincides with the celebrations for the 80th anniversary of the National Museum of Iran, created at the request of the Iranians by the French archeologist and architect André Godard. The exhibition is one outcome of the agreement signed between the Louvre and ICHHTO – the organization in charge of Iran’s museums and cultural heritage – during Iranian president Rouhani’s visit to France in January 2016.
Comprising some 50 masterpieces from the Louvre’s various departments and the Musée Delacroix, the exhibition will illustrate the rich diversity of the Louvre’s collection, a priceless national and world heritage whose works from different civilizations and eras testify to the universality of the creative spirit.
In parallel with the Tehran exhibition, the Louvre is presenting The Rose Garden: Masterpieces of Persian Art from the 19th Century, on Qajar dynasty Iran, at Louvre-Lens.
The Louvre in Tehran retraces the creation of the Louvre’s various collections, from the museum’s founding in 1793 to its most recent acquisitions.
History of the Louvre’s Iranian collection
Archeological cooperation with the Persian Empire began in the 19th century, initially via permission to explore or excavate certain sites, notably that of Susa (modern-day Shush), dating from around 4200 BC.
In 1884 a firman, or royal decree, authorized excavations at Susa by French archeologist Marcel Dieulafoy and the shipping of his finds to France. In 1888 new rooms were fitted out at the Louvre for the Iranian exhibits. From 1895 to 1927 France held a monopoly of archeological research for the whole of Iran; in 1897 Jacques de Morgan replaced Dieulafoy at Susa and his discoveries brought the Louvre some of its greatest masterpieces, among them the Code of Hammurabi. 
In 1928 the French archeologist and architect André Godard set up the Archeological Services of Iran, which he would direct until 1960, and the National Museum of Iran, which he personally designed. Until 1973 the Louvre’s Iranian collection continued to be enriched on the basis of shared excavation finds, and from that date onwards by purchases and gifts.
Archeological considerations aside, it was via the royal collections that the first artwork from medieval Iran made its way into the Louvre, in the late 17th century. After a pause lasting until the final third of the 19th century, medieval and modern ceramics, miniatures, and metal items began to arrive: gifts and acquisitions destined for the new Islamic arts section, founded in 1893, at the same time as the Department of Decorative Arts. 1905 saw the opening of the first room entirely devoted to the arts of Islamic civilizations. 
The collection grew steadily in the course of the next century; it was given a higher profile in 1993 by the new Grand Louvre project, but it was not until the creation of a Department of Islamic Art in 2003, and the opening of dedicated rooms in 2012, that it found the setting it deserved.
The Iranian collection in the Louvre today
The Louvre’s Iranian holdings are currently on show in two departments: the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities for items dating from the 5th millennium BC to the 7th century AD, and the Department of Islamic Art for pieces dating from the beginnings of Islam to the 19th century.
One of the largest in the world outside of Iran, the Iranian collection in the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities occupies ten rooms, offering visitors a straightforward chronological itinerary.
In the Department of Islamic Art the works are presented on two floors combining the chronological and the geographic. At courtyard level is a space specially given over to Islamic artworks unearthed at Susa.