Iran closes Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art for fumigation after bug video

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An Iranian museum, showcasing some of the world’s finest art works for the first time in decades, announced its two-day closure for fumigation after a video of insects inside one of the works went viral, state media said Thursday.

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art had put on display the minimalism exhibit featuring 120 of the greatest works by 34 renowned contemporary international artists, state news agency IRNA said.


The decision to disinfect the museum came days after an amateur video showed two silverfish underneath the glass frame of a rare photo by the late German photographic duo of Bernd and Hilla Becher.

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The video, whose authenticity could not be independently verified by AFP, went viral on Sunday, raising concern among cultural activists and art enthusiasts.

The museum later made a formal apology, saying it immediately invited art experts to investigate the condition of the photo and check other works in the exhibition as well.

“Fortunately, this work was not damaged in any way and no insects were seen in other works of the exhibition either,” the museum said in its statement.

The Bechers, known for their photos of industrial structures, exhibited their pictures in sets or typologies. They are among a collection of works by artists including Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd and Sol LeWit that are on display in the exhibit from June 22 to September 18.

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