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Fears for Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection

2 May 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Campaigners warn Iran’s modern art collection could be broken up | Highlights of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art are set to travel to Germany this autumn, on their first international tour for over four decades. But the mooted privatisation of the institution continues to inflame tensions in Iran, reports the Sunday Times. Fears have been voiced over the fate of the collection itself, which was amassed by the Iranian royal family prior to the 1979 revolution and – thanks to the efforts of Firouz Shabazi Moghadam, now the museum’s keeper – remained largely in tact after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. Campaigners warn that the 1,500 items in the collection (among them masterpieces by the likes of Bacon and Warhol) may be split up or put at risk if ownership of the museum is transferred to the private Roudaki Foundation.

Museums under scrutiny over sponsorship arrangements | The Museums Association is looking into claims that institutions including the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery may have broken its code of ethics, reports the Guardian. According to pressure group Art Not Oil, major arts sponsor BP may have influenced curatorial decisions at the museums (something the institutions themselves deny), raising questions over the transparency of its corporate patronage. In London last month, Museums Association director Sharon Heal introduced the body’s revised code of ethics, urging member institutions to revisit their values in order to ‘maintain some integrity in an incredibly volatile world’.

Recommended reading | The art world is gearing up for Frieze New York this week, and anyone planning a visit could do worse than to investigate The Art Newspaper’s preview. Elsewhere in the city, the New York Times reports that MoMA is offering voluntary buyouts to long-serving employees aged 55 and over, though it stresses that the institution’s expansion plans will not entail a round of layoffs. Meanwhile, back in Britain, the Daily Telegraph has spoken to Grayson Perry about his new TV series, which begins on Channel 4 this week. ‘Men have got to de-prioritise sex a bit,’ he tells Jasper Rees.