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Louvre in Tehran wraps up after months of visiting boom

Tehran, The momentous exhibition 'The Louvre in Tehran' wrapped up at the National Museum of Iran after receiving over 250,000 visitors from across the country since its opening on March 5.

The Louvre show has been visited by over 250,000 people including administration and international officials and diplomats, artists and other personalities, Mohammadreza Kargar, a cultural heritage official said.

Historic relics of the show were collected on Tuesday to be returned to France, he added.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attended the opening ceremony of the exhibit which was then deemed by many as the turning point in cultural diplomacy between Iran and the West even as their officials hold tense talks on political and security issues.

Among the items shipped over by cargo plane were a 2,400-year-old Egyptian sphinx, a bust of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and drawings by Rembrandt and Delacroix and other artifacts linked to Greek, Egyptian and Mesopotamian culture, as well as objects from ancient Iran.

A highlight of the show was a relief with ancient Iranian origins dating back to 2nd or the 4th centuries CE. Titled 'Mithra Killing the Bull', it represents Iranian god Mithra sacrificing a bull. Being unearthed in modern Lebanon, the relief also depicts busts of the four seasons, the busts of the moon and the Sun as well as the twelve signs of Zodiac. The work of art is reportedly a symbol of the rebirth of nature and the cycle nature of time.

In parallel with the Tehran event, the Louvre also presented 'The Rose Empire Masterpieces of 19th-Century Persian Art', which showcased a vast collection of Qajar-era (1785-1925) objects at France's Louvre-Lens art museum from March 28, to July 22.

'The Louvre in Tehran' was supposed to end in June, however, it was extended until July 30 after receiving kudos from museumgoers. It was the first large-scale exhibition by a major Western museum in Iran.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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