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Iran: Provincial Museum Yazd / National Museum Teheran

The Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) is actively involved in a number of international and interdisciplinary collaborations concerning heritage protection. At the end of 2016 two projects were drafted in cooperation with the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Iran Culture Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), which will be financed from 2017 to 2020 by the Gerda Henkel Foundation in their exploratory focus “Patrimonies”.  

This program will support actions to help preserve cultural heritage, improve academic infrastructure, train junior staff and establish networks in sciences, politics and society within the targeted countries.

The Provincial Museum Yazd - Safeguarding Cultural Heritage

The project “The Provincial Museum Yazd. Safeguarding Cultural Heritage – Fostering Regional Identities“ is designed for a period of three years. The Iranian province of Yazd has an impressive history that reaches back to pre-Islamic times. Even today, a large community of Zoroastrians live here. The capital city is shaped by historically important buildings from the 12th to 15th century. The well-preserved historic center with its clay buildings, cooling houses and wind towers was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017, the unique qanat irrigation system of the region was registered in 2016.

In the so-called Sadrololama, a historical complex in the center of the city, the first modern provincial museum is to be build, on the basis of current conceptual and conservational standards, and to be opened in 2020/2021. For this project, ICHHTO has been renovating the historical buildings designated as a museum since 2015.

Conservators, curators, archaeologists and other museum staff will develop their skills in close collaboration with ICHHTO and the local university through training programs and workshops for their future tasks in research, conservation and museums management. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen regional identities and to function as a role model for other provincial museums in the country. For this purpose, the art, architecture, history and crafts of the region will be researched, documented, edited and presented in a visitor-oriented manner.

National Museum Teheran - Documentation, Digitisation, Research, Capacity Building

The two-year project aims to set-up a documentation and administration system in the Museum of Islamic Art of the National Museum in Teheran. Of the total inventory of the National Museum about 15,000 objects belong to the collections of the Museum of Islamic Art, newly opened in 2015.

Adapted to the local requirements an on-site object-oriented data management system will be developed with the assistance of local authorities. It will be used as an important infrastructural instrument for the documentation and management of the inventory.

For the pilot project the findings from the excavations of the German Archaeological Institute at Tacht-e Soleyman will be registered. Since a large number of objects found their way to Berlin due to find distribution and are currently recorded in the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art), the project offers the opportunity to digitally combine the two collections. Experiences and results of the pilot project will subsequently be used in connection with other museums, for example the provincial museum in Yazd.

Cooperation Partners: Kunst – und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, GmbH, Bonn; Iran Culture Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Teheran
Project management  and Project staff: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin: Prof. Dr. St. Weber, Dr. Ute Franke. Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn: Susanne Annen, Dipl. Arch.
Project Assistance: Alexandra Gath, M.A.
Funding: Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Düsseldorf
Duration: 2017 to 2020