I came across a tweet today saying

It isn't only in Rome Museum that nude statues threaten Islam. Tehran's Iran Bastan Museum has nude statue of Anahita, pre-Islamic goddess.

Is artwork pre-dating the Iranian revolution generally uncensored in Iranian museums?

If the artworks are censored, are they just stored away from public view (something which can be reversed in the future - I'm flexible about when I visit Iran), or are they sold and/or destroyed?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about archive management. – Flimzy Jan 28 '16 at 12:41
  • Not an authoritative source but "The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art’s building and collection was developed by the West infatuated Shah. There have been few acquisitions since the Islamic Revolution, and according to guidebooks the collection is seldom on display" - flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/… – Urbana Jan 28 '16 at 12:52
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    @Flimzy err, should it be about archive management? It's definitely about travel because it's about the contents of country's museums, which are a type of visitor attraction. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 28 '16 at 12:54
  • @user568458: It's about the the political opression laws of Iran, and about where Iran stores censored art. The first is border-line travel related, but still feels more about political oppression than travel, IMO. The second is obviously NOT travel related. – Flimzy Jan 28 '16 at 13:43
  • @Flimzy are we reading the same question? "Is artwork pre-dating the Iranian revolution generally uncensored in Iranian museums?". How is that not asking what's displayed in Iranian museums? That's the core question, and there's nothing wrong with also asking for a little context. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 28 '16 at 14:03

There's a difference between pre-islamic and pre-revolutionary. As a rule of thumb, pre-islamic art is uncensored, pre-revolutionary (but islamic) is censored, often heavily.

(I noticed part of your question I didn't see before, perhaps because you updated it.) During the early years of the revolution, there was a lot of religious zeal that saw some irreversible changes on a lot of fronts. Based on my general knowledge of Iran (I was born there, left when I was young, still have quite a bit of family there), I'd say that some art disappeared (but more likely into someone's cabinet than on top of the rubbish bin), but that quite a bit of it is tucked away for better times. Though, the longer those better times take to occur, the less likely these pieces will ever see the light of day.

  • Interesting, can you give any examples? – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 28 '16 at 14:25
  • @user568458 It's hard to give examples of things that are not available. It's not that easy to find pre-revolutionary art in Iranian museums, as a lot ware removed during the early years of the revolution. – MastaBaba Jan 28 '16 at 16:04
  • @MastaBaba haha, true, I was thinking more what kind of art it is that is missing from the museums. Do you mean like the Western-style fashion and pop-art that was getting quite big in Iran in the 60s and 70s? And any examples of museums showcasing pre-Islamic antiquities? – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 28 '16 at 16:11
  • @user568458 Yeah, that sums it up quite well. That said, if you're interested, this book is very much worth a gander: amzn.to/1PDiflf – MastaBaba Jan 28 '16 at 17:26
  • Yes, I updated it a bit. I didn't want to make my logic too explicit because I didn't want to be needlessly rude, but because the question was threatened with closure, I decided to be more explicit. – Andrew Grimm Jan 29 '16 at 11:19

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