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Iran's Museums Short of Funds


News Category: Cultural Disaster

 06 December 2005


Golestan Palace Museum


Nobody can deny that museums in Iran are facing a shortage of funds, their display boxes are non-standard and the temperature and humidity levels at museums are unstable, said CHN in a report.

Museums are expected to hold a variety of exhibits, arrange workshops for students to teach them about historical items, paintings and help them get acquainted with their own cultural heritage and history.

However, such programs are currently non-existent in museums.

Curators of museums should shoulder the blame for the lack of funds for the absence of such programs, added the report.

“When we have difficulty providing the basic needs of museums, how it is possible to hold educational programs for students and launch workshops for them at the museums,“ curators of museums ask.

All museums are facing financial problems with Abgineh and Sofalineh Museum being the worst hit.

Curator of Abgineh and Sofalineh Museum Farzaneh Ghaeni said that the monthly budget of the museum is four million rials and this is not even enough to pay the electricity bill.

She said that Iran National Museum, Niavaran Palace and Sadabad Palace museums have their own accountants and can spend part of the income for maintenance, whereas Reza Abbasi Museum, Carpet Museum and Abgineh and Sofalineh Museum are being administered under deputy director for cultural affairs at Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO).


Therefore, funds are not available on time. “For example Abgineh Museum has deposited 112 million rials to ICHTO account in the past 11 months, but, we do not have access to this for the time being. It would be made available after overcoming the bureaucratic procedure,“ she said.

Meanwhile, the credit for development project of Iran National Museum has not been made available yet even though nine months have passed since the beginning of the current Iranian year in March.

According to earlier agreements, Iran National Museum was expected to be provided with 50 billion rials for its development project to be spent within a five-year period. However, currently less than four months is remaining of the current Iranian year 1384, (ends March 20, 2005) and no credit has been made available yet.

Curator of Iran National Museum Mohammad Reza Karegar said that the bureaucracy is responsible for the current state of affairs.

He said that he believed that Iranian bureaucratic system is suffering from a major challenge which has made certain institutions including museums so vulnerable.



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