Parviz Tanavoli Art Scuffle

Wasn’t expecting to read this in the news today, but alas–there it was, this morning. Never a dull moment in the Iranian art world:
Sculptor Parviz Tanavoli has sued intruders who forced their way into his home in northern Tehran, taking a number of his works.
“Last night, about 20 people broke into my house using a crane and a truck, and, acting wildly and ineptly, took 11 of my sculptures,” he told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.
“Nobody was at home when they arrived. People in neighboring houses said that they broke the locks to enter my house,” he added.
“When I arrived home, I asked about the reasons for their action. They said they were carrying out a court order. However they refused to show me their documents until they left,” he stated.
In an agreement signed between Tanavoli and the Tehran Municipality in 2003, he transferred the ownership of his 58 sculptures and his house in northern Tehran to the municipality on the condition that the house is converted into a museum for his works.
“Shortly afterwards, they informed me that their plan to establish the museum has been stopped and they no longer wanted to make a museum for my works,” Tanavoli stated.
“I filed a lawsuit and six years later the court ruled that the house was to be returned to me,” he added.
He said that over the past few years, the municipality has acquired all the sculptures, some of which allegedly have been sold.
“A few months ago, I went to court for a decision on the ownership of the artworks. The court ruled that the collection must remain in my house until the court makes a final decision, but the break-in occurred,” he said.
According Tanavoli, most of the artworks have been seriously damaged in transit.
So far, no official comment has been made about this issue and it is not clear where the sculptures have been taken.
Tanavoli, who usually makes large sculptures, is mostly known for his series “Heech” depicting the Persian word “heech” (nil). His “Heech in the Cage” is on display at the British Museum.
His works have been always warmly received at international auctions over the past few years.
His six foot tall sculpture “Oh Persepolis II”, was sold for $940,000 at Dubai Christie’s in October 2013.
His “The Wall” previously fetched $2.8 million at Christie’s in 2008.
[source: Tehran Times]