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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN – Iranian actor Baqer Sahrarudi, famous for his peculiar style of performances, died on Sunday. He was 73.

    Sahrarudi was suffering a long time after incurring brain damage two years ago, his son Mehrdad told the Persian media on Monday.
    Born in 1941 in Fasa, Fars Province, Sahrarudi studied literature and began his artistic activity at the age of 13.
    “Alley of Acacia” and “Garlic and Vinegar” are among the TV series in which he had a role.
    He had also played in several movies including “Non-profit Police Station”, “Kingdom of Solomon” and “Marriage, Iranian Style”.
    Sahrarudi was also active as a writer, filmmaker and film producer.
    His funeral procession will begin at the Iranian House of Cinema today. He will be buried in the Artists Section of Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian embassy in Brazil has organized several exhibitions of Persian art in the cities of Curitiba, Salvador and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, which is currently hosting the 2014 World Cup.

    A variety of Persian artworks, handicrafts, photos and books are on display to familiarize Brazilians and the football fans coming from different countries to Brazil with Persian culture and civilization, the Iranian ambassador to Brasilia, Mohammad-Ali Qanezadeh, said in a press release on Tuesday.

    In addition, a selection of Iranian films is being screened in Salvador.

    The exhibits will continue in several other regions across the Brazilian state of Bahia.


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    TEHRAN – The Japanese ambassador to Tehran, Koji Haneda, visited Deputy Culture Minister for Artistic Affairs Ali Moradkhani on Sunday.

    Japan’s Deputy Press Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Naoko Saiki, also accompanied Haneda during the meeting, which was held at Moradkhani’s office, the Culture Ministry announced in a press release on Tuesday.

    Plans for holding joint art and cultural festivals were discussed at the meeting and Moradkhani said that the festivals will help people become more familiar with each other.

    He also suggested that the cultural aspects of the festivals are highlighted rather than their diplomatic sides.

    Japan attaches great importance to cultural diplomacy, Saiki said, adding that cultural diplomacy can help strengthen culture.


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  • 07/01/14--07:57: Art news in brief
  • Italian comedy appears in Persian

    TEHRAN – A Persian translation of Italian writer Carlo Goldoni’s classic comic drama “The Fan” has been published in Iran.

    The book was translated into Persian by Abbas-Ali Ezzati and the book was released by Afraz Publications.

    Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) was a playwright and librettist from the Republic of Venice.

    “The Dawn Which Smelled of the Aroma of Lemons” breaks at IAF

    TEHRAN – “The Dawn Which Smelled of the Aroma of Lemons”, a documentary on the Iraqi chemical attack on the Iranian town of Sardasht during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, was screened at the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) yesterday.

    Directed by Azadeh Bizargiti, the documentary narrates the miserable lives of five women in the aftermath of the chemical attack.

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    Bibi Haazer Omidvari, an 88-year-old self-taught Iranian doll maker, attended the opening ceremony of her exhibition at the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran on Sunday.

    Bibi Haazer, who lives in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, draws inspiration from the characters of Iranian folk tales to create her works.

    Arriving with a cane in her hand, she gently touches the face of her dolls, and tells the story of some of them.

    “My grandchildren and neighbors usually bring pieces of textiles which are of no use for them, or I sometimes undo old woolen clothes and make the dolls,” she explained.

    “Don’t think it is easy to make dolls, it sometimes takes me hours to thread the needle. I feel pain in my neck but I tell my neck it should move as long as I am alive,” she said.

    Bibi was previously a carpet weaver, but on her doctor’s advice, she gave up the weaving job to improve her health.

    Her grandchildren Elaheh and Bahman Abbaspur have made great efforts to arrange the exhibit. “All the grandchildren have grown up with the dolls of Bibi. All the dolls are unique. They are rooted in Persian culture or the stories she narrates.”

    Bibi’s works received a lot of attention at an exhibition of works by a group of self-taught artists at the IAF this year in April.

    A total of 210 dolls are on display at the exhibit, which is Bibi’s first solo exhibition.

    The exhibit will run until July 4 at the Forum located on Musavi St., off Taleqani Ave.


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    TEHRAN -- Iran’s proposal to record “The Shams of Tabriz Opera” in Turkey has been welcomed by the Turkish ambassador to Tehran.

    The proposal was discussed during a meeting between Ambassador Umit Yardim and Iran Cinema Organization (ICO) Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi in Tehran, the ICO announced on Monday.

    Yardim said that his country will prepare the usual preliminaries in the near future.

    The meeting was organized to discuss the ways to implement the recently-signed cultural agreements between the presidents of the two countries.

    “The Shams and Rumi Opera” has been composed in five acts mostly based on Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi’s poems by world-renowned Iranian musician and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian.

    A small orchestra conducted by Tjeknavorian premiered an act from the opera during the opening ceremony of the Shams Hall at the ECO Cultural Institute in Tehran on December 15, 2012.

    However, it debuted at the Conference of Shams’s Encounter with Rumi in Tehran on January 24, 2013 with the Rudaki Symphonic Orchestra performing some parts of the opera.

    Ayyubi also proposed that Turkey join the production of “The Drunken Peacock”, a film which will be directed by Iranian filmmaker Mojtaba Raei based on a story about Rumi’s mysticism.   

    In addition, he offered his congratulations to Yardim on Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s success at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. He won Cannes Palme d’Or for his drama “Winter Sleep”.

    Ayyubi, who is also the managing director of the Shams of Tabriz and Rumi Foundation, announced in June 2013 that world-renowned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has been commissioned by the foundation to direct a video of “The Shams of Tabriz Opera”.


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    TEHRAN – An Iranian TV documentary entitled “Set Square”, on cultural and historical affinities between Muslims in Iran, Spain and Turkey, has recently been produced.
    Directed by Alireza Hosseini, the 15-episode series aims to introduce the cultural and historical sites in the three countries.
    Seven episodes have been filmed in the Spanish cities of Granada, Cordoba, Toledo, and in different locations of the Andalusia region, including Alhambra’s Islamic palaces, the Alcazar Royal Palace in Seville, and several other museums and mosques, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Wednesday.
    Two episodes have also been dedicated to the historical sites in the provinces of Yazd and Isfahan.
    In addition, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul are documented in two other episodes.
    The first episode of the documentary will be aired on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) documentary channel on Friday.

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian artist Mohammad-Ali Berno has been selected as the 2014 Photographer of the Year at the Prix de la Photographie (Px3), which was held in Paris.
    The winners of the competition were announced on its website on Tuesday.
    Berno was honored for his five-photo collection depicting two criminals, who had been caught on a security camera robbing a man and stabbing him in the back, being executed in front of a crowd in a public park in Tehran.
    “My photos do not carry any political connotation; I’ve just tried to depict the facts in my photos,” Berno said in an interview with the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.
    Depiction of these moments may lead to reducing crime in the society, he added.
    The Italian photographer Giorgio Bianchi received Best New Talent of the Year Award for his photo collection “Battle in Kiev”.
    The Prix de la Photographie strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and to introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. 

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  • 07/02/14--08:23: Art news in brief
  • Visual art section opens at Tehran Intl. Holy Quran Exhibition 
    TEHRAN – The visual art section of the 22nd International Holy Quran Exhibition opened on Tuesday.
    The Director of the Office of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Visual Arts, Majid Mollanoruzi, and several artists, including Hossein Mahjubu, Ahamd Nadalian and Farideh Shahsavarani, attended the opening ceremony.
    The exhibit runs until July 14 at the Sacred Defense Garden Museum located on Haqqani Highway.
    TMCA extends visiting hours for print works exhibition
    TEHRAN – The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) has extended its visiting hours to 11 pm during the holy month of Ramadan.
    The museum is currently hosting an exhibition of print works, which were created by 75 world-renowned artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Marc Chagall.
    The exhibition entitled “A History of Contemporary Printmaking from Impressionism until Now” runs until July 10 at TMCA.

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    TEHRAN – Iranian photographer Amir-Ali Javadian has highlighted the presence of the Holy Quran in the everyday lives of Iranians in his recent collection, which is currently on display at the Iran Photo Museum, also known as Axkhaneh Shahr.

    Entitled “Presence of Quran in Life”, a selection of 30 photos has been put on display in the exhibit to mark the Holy Month of Ramadan. 
    “The exhibit showcases different dimensions of the Quran’s presence. Each individual’s intension in holding or reading the Quran has been of special interest for me,” he told the Persian service of ISNA.
    The arrival of New Year, the beginning of a new married life, guidance, and protection against disasters are the main themes portrayed in the collection, he said. 
    “People’s relationship with the Holy Quran is not something that can be taught, it is inborn. The Quran is the book each individual goes to in seeking protection, or in facing a problem,” he added.
    “And I wanted to record the impression and the impact of the Quran upon people while I was taking the photos,” he said.  
    “People’s relationship with the Holy Quran reaches its climax during the ‘grand nights’. I can only show their outward appearance, while their inner thoughts and feelings were in turmoil on these nights,” he explained.
    The nights of the 19th, 21st, and 23rd of Ramadan are known as the ‘grand nights’ on one of which the Quran was sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (S).
    Javadian is a graduate of photography from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Tehran. He teaches photography at different universities.
    He has held a number of exhibits in Iran and several other countries including Germany, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. 
    The exhibit, which opened on June 29, will be running until August 2 at the museum located on Bahar Shiraz St. near Haft-e Tir Square.

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    TEHRAN -- Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) and the Al Mahdi Scout Organization, a youth movement of Hezbollah in Lebanon, have signed a new memorandum of understanding.

    The MOU was inked by IIDCYA Director Alireza Hajianzadeh and Al Mahdi Scout Organization Head Commissioner Nazih Fayyad during a meeting in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatieh, the IIDCYA announced on Tuesday.
    “The IIDCYA charter embodies articles for exchanging experiences with other countries, but we attach particular importance to relations with Lebanon,” Hajianzadeh said.
    Fayyad praised IIDCYA’s collaboration in the previous MOU and said that the institute’s efforts for launching a mobile library in Lebanon had a major impact on the country.
    “This organization can work as a cultural envoy to introduce the IIDCYA to other countries particularly to the Islamic and Arabic-speaking nations,” he stated.
    “The collaboration between the Al Mahdi Scout Organization and the IIDCYA is considered to be a good example of cooperation with Hezbollah’s organizations,” Fayyad added.

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  • 07/04/14--08:49: Art news in brief
  • Iranian director to shoot film in Turkey
    TEHRAN -- The Iranian director Pedram Bahramifar plans to make his next film, “Hunting the Champion”, in Turkey.
    The shooting will begin in Turkey after the holy month of Ramadan, he stated in a press release on Thursday.
    The film is about two children who are kidnapped by a terrorist group.
    “Indians” hits Iranian bookstores
    TEHRAN -- A Persian translation of American dramatist Arthur Lee Kopit’s “Indians” has recently been published in Iran.
    Translated by Atefeh Pakbaznia, the play was published by the Afraz Publications.
    The play examines the contradictions of Buffalo Bill Cody's life and his work with Native Americans.

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    TEHRAN – The University of Tehran has invited two notable U.S. scholars to an international conference on Shakespeare studies, which will be held at the university on November 26 and 27.
    American literary critic and Pulitzer Prize winning author Stephen Greenblatt from Harvard University and comparative literature scholar Rebecca Gould from Yale University are expected to attend the conference, entitled “Not of an Age but for All Ages”.
    The Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Tehran is the main organizer of the symposium.
    “Shakespeare and Political Discourse”, “Shakespeare and Popular Culture”, “The Orient’s view of Shakespeare”, “Film Adaptations of Shakespeare’s Plays” and several other subjects will be discussed during the conference.
    A selection of the papers, which will be submitted to the conference, is scheduled to be published in a book by the University of Tehran Press.

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    TEHRAN – Cinema 24, an Iranian company dedicated to distributing home entertainment productions, will release Ebrahim Hatamikia’s acclaimed film “Che” on Blu-ray Discs, which are being produced in Hong Kong.  

    This is first time an Iranian film will be released in Blu-ray Disc format, the director of Public Relations Office of Cinema 24, Hassan Haj-Beigi, told the Persian Service of FNA on Friday.
    “This format requires high-tech facilities, which are not available in our country,” he added.
    The home video copy of “Che” will contain unseen backstage scenes along with several short documentaries.
    He also said that the film will have five different language subtitles: Persian (useful for hearing impaired individuals), Arabic, Spanish, English and Turkish.
    The Blu-ray format of the film is scheduled to be released after the holy month of Ramadan.
    “Che”, which is about the Iranian war hero Mostafa Chamran, premiered at York Cinemas in Toronto on Friday.
    “Che” depicts 48 hours of Chamran’s life on August 16 and 17, 1979 when he entered Paveh, a town in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, to join the Iranian forces fighting against separatist Kurds.
    Chamran was commander of several military operations in the warzones of Kordestan and Khuzestan regions during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. He was killed in a mortar attack in the Dehlavieh region near Ahvaz in 1981.

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    TEHRAN -- A team of experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization arrived in the central Iranian city of Isfahan last week to scrutinize some new construction projects near the Isfahan Congregational Mosque, which was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2012.

    UNESCO has expressed concern that the construction projects, which have been set up in Imam Ali (AS) Square near the mosque over the past few years, may threaten the world heritage site.
    So far, the UNESCO experts have found no threat from the nearby new construction to the mosque, Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (ICHTHD) Director Mohsen Moslehi told the Persian service of IRNA on Wednesday.   
    “All construction projects near the historical sites and monuments must be carried out under the supervision of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization,” he noted.
    “Due to the fact that the Isfahan Congregational Mosque is a world cultural heritage, any construction plan on the perimeter of the site must be approved by UNESCO experts beforehand,” he added.
    Covering an area of 23,000 square meters, the Isfahan Congregational Mosque is the largest of its kind in Iran and features many unique Iranian artistic and architectural elements. 
    According to some historical texts, the structure was originally a Zoroastrian temple that was then converted into a mosque in the early eighth century CE by the Tayyem tribe, which was a migrant Arabian tribe living in the nearby village of Tiran.
    Since the mosque has been augmented several times during various eras, the monument beautifully displays the evolution of Islamic art and architecture.

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    TEHRAN -- A collection of artifacts unearthed during various excavations at the Burnt City is on display in an exhibition at the National Museum of Iran.
    The exhibition has been organized to emphasize the importance of the 5200-year-old site following its registration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on June 22, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Saturday.
    “The artifacts discovered at the Burnt City are the representatives of the identity and the cultural and scientific credentials of the Iranians from the distant past,” Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Director Masud Soltanifar said during a visit to the exhibit.   
    “Since the site was registered on the World Heritage List, it was necessary to organize such an exhibit, he added.
    Located 57 kilometers from the Iranian town of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the Burnt City was registered during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar on June 22.
    A 10-centimeter ruler with an accuracy of half a millimeter, an artificial eyeball, an earthenware bowl bearing the world’s oldest example of animation and many other artifacts have been discovered in the ruins of the city in the course of the 22 seasons of archaeological excavations conducted by Iranian teams. 

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    TEHRAN -- “Iranian Ninja” director Marjan Riahi has been appointed as president of the jury for the NETPAC Award at the 18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, which will be held in South Korea from July 17 to 27.
    The founder and director of the Florence Korea Film Festival, Riccardo Gelli, and South Korean director/producer Ryoo Seung-wan are the other members of the jury, the Persian service of ILNA reported on Saturday.
    Riahi is one of the four Iranian members of NETPAC -- the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.
    She was on the jury of the Golden Elephant -- International Children’s Film Festival India in 2011.

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    TEHRAN – Works by Spanish sculptor Teresa Esteban Gomez featuring Islamic architecture are on display at the 22nd edition of the International Holy Quran Exhibition underway in the Sacred Defense Garden Museum in Tehran.
    Organized by Iran’s Cultural Office in Madrid, the Spanish artist is displaying a collection of her wood sculptures and paintings in the international section of the exhibit, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Saturday.
    Her collection mostly reflects Islamic architecture, highlighting minarets, domes and arches.
    Teresa Esteban Gomez received her doctorate in fine arts in 1992 from the Complutense University of Madrid.
    She has displayed her works in different exhibits in several countries.
    The international section of the exhibit, which opened yesterday, will be running for ten days.

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  • 07/05/14--06:47: Art news in brief
  • Serbia hosts Iranian film week
    TEHRAN – The city of Valjevo in the Republic of Serbia has been hosting an Iranian film week that will end today.
    A variety of films including “A Time to Love” by Ebrahim Foruzesh, “Superstar” by Tahmineh Milani and “The Kingdom of Solomon” by Shahriar Bahrani were screened during the event. 
    Short stories by Hermann Hesse appear in Persian 
    TEHRAN – A collection of 14 short stories written by German poet and novelist Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) has recently been published by Mahi Publications.
    Translated into Persian by Sorush Habibi, the book takes its name “Flute Dream” from a short story by Hesse.
    “Shadow Play”, “The Beautiful Dream”, “The Poet”, “The Difficult Path” and “The Painter” are some of the short stories in the book.
    DEFC to review documentary on Kashmir today
    TEHRAN – The Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) will screen and hold a review session for “Look behind the Tableau”, a documentary directed by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Barmahani about Kashmir today.
    Film critic Nasser Saffarian and documentary filmmaker Mohammad Jafari will review the film.
    Paris institute to host workshops on Persian manuscripts for Iranian experts
    TEHRAN – The National Institute of Oriental Language and Civilization in Paris will host a number of workshops on Persian manuscripts preserved at the National Library of France for a group of Iranian experts.
    The workshops, which will be held for ten days during September, have been organized in collaboration with the Iranian Society of History.

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    TEHRAN – Iranian director Ebrahim Foruzesh plans to make a TV series based on stories by Iranian children’s book writer Hushang Moradi Kermani.
    Entitled “Under the Light of a Candle”, the TV series is in the comedy drama genre, Foruzesh told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.
    Shooting is scheduled to begin in late summer, he added.
    The 15-part episodic series will be broadcast from Channel 2 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
    Foruzesh has previously directed “The Big Clay Jar” based on a story of the same name by Moradi Kermani. 
    Kiumars Purahmad also directed the popular TV series “The Majid Stories” based on Moradi Kermani’s collection of the same name.
    “Mum’s Guest” directed by Dariush Mehrjuii and “The Boots” by Mohammad-Ali Talebi are other film adaptations of Moradi Kermani’s stories.

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