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LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) – From ancient sculptures to contemporary photographs, objects spanning 5,000 years of Iranian art, culture and design are on display this week at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London as part of the first major exhibition of its kind in Grande -Brittany in 90 years.

“Epic Iran,” which opens to the public on Saturday, showcases more than 300 artefacts from ancient, Islamic and contemporary Iran, including manuscripts, ceramics, rugs, textiles as well as photos, the museum said.

The exhibition consists of 10 sections, including “The Persian Empire”, covering the Achaemenid period, “Change of faith”, which focuses on the role of Islam in Iranian culture and “Literary excellence” on Persian poetry.

“It was only recently that people recognized that Iran has this wonderful and rich artistic tradition, this wonderful cultural heritage that goes back many, many years,” co-curator John Curtis told Reuters.

The items on display, collected over time by the museum or on loan, include ancient relics such as the Cyrus cylinder and the Lion Rhyton as well as more contemporary items such as Shirin Aliabadi’s photograph of a woman blowing gum. .

“Obviously it was very difficult to put on an exhibit … it was not possible to bring back any items from Iran,” Curtis said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reimposed sanctions on Iran after former US President Donald Trump. came out of a 2015 nuclear deal in 2018.

“We had to get things from other places and I think we were very successful in doing that … what you see here gives everyone a full picture of Iran’s great civilizations.”

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