Berlin Art Academy to display artworks of Iran's opposition leader Mousavi
by Cyrus Green, Oye Times
An arts institution in the German capital has decided to showcase 28 artworks created by Mir Hossein Mousavi, an Iranian opposition leader currently under house arrest for more than two years.
The Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts) in Berlin, the oldest and one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Germany, says it is to hold a two-week exhibition in which the paintings of Mir Hossein Mousavi will be displayed before the public.
The showcase will get underway on 6 June, just days before Iranians go to the polls to choose a new president. It will also coincide with the fourth anniversary of the widely contested 2009 presidential.
The opening ceremony will be attended by human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, as well as top Mousavi advisor Ardershir Amir-Arjomand.
Hamid Hamidi, one of the organisers of the display, told Deutsche Welle that one of the goals of the event was to present Mousavi’s thoughts to a European public.
After stepping down as Iran’s last prime minister in 1988, Mousavi, a painter and an architect, devoted much of his time to the arts and would take over the presidency of the newly founded Academy of Arts in 1998.
Mousavi’s candidacy in the 2009 presidential election marked the veteran politician’s long-awaited return to the political scene.
However, shortly after an election marred by widespread vote rigging, massive protests sprung up across the country, plunging the Islamic Republic into an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy. Mousavi and fellow reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi refused to accept the election results and would soon spearhead the protest movement that emerged as a result of popular discontent with the official results.
The pair were finally placed under arbitrary house arrest in February 2011 after calling for protests in solidarity with the Arab Spring.
In an interview with Radio Farda, Johannes Odenthal, the artistic programme coordinator of the Academy of the Arts, said that he himself had handpicked 28 of Mousavi’s artworks for the exhibition from amongst 70 paintings. He said that the event was both a recognition of Mousavi’s artistic excellence as well as an attempt to raise awareness about his ongoing house arrest.
According to Odenthal, a public forum will also be held to discuss the human rights situation in Iran, particularly the plight of its imprisoned opposition leaders.
In February 2013, Kaleme, a site associated with Mousavi, released a never before seen footage of Mousavi working on his artworks prior to his house arrest.
Some of Mousavi's previous works published by Deutsche Welle's Persian service:
Via Oye Times