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Tehran exhibition: “Gholamreza Takhti – Portraits of a Champion “

The exhibition “Gholamreza Takhti – Portraits of a Champion” was inaugurated today in the gardens of the residence of the Italian Ambassador in Tehran, Giuseppe Perrone, with a ceremony during which the historic Italian victories at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2020 European Football Championships were celebrated.

Consisting of 29 works by 4 different Iranian artists (Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Yasamin Khorsandi, Behdad Panjehzadeh, and Behzad Shishegaran), the exhibition traces the representation, in the collective imagination, of the great Iranian wrestling champion of the 50s and 60s, Gholamreza Takhti, who won medals in three different Olympics: Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, and Rome 1960.

Famous not only for his extraordinary sporting skills but also for his human gifts, sense of fair play, humanitarian commitment in favour of the weakest, and his political sympathies for the national front of Mossadeq, Gholamreza Takhti died aged 38 in circumstances that have still not been fully understood. Over the years he has become an icon of Pop Art and the subject of an intense and eclectic artistic output, as is confirmed by the attention dedicated to him by the British Museum with its 2009 exhibition “Takhti: A Modern Iranian Hero” which focused on a painting by the artist Hassanzadeh, whose work is also present in the exhibition of the Italian Embassy in Teheran.

In his welcome speech, Ambassador Perrone not only recalled the importance of Takhti as a sporting figure, but also underlined the unifying value of sport and the depth of bilateral relations between Italy and Iran in the sports sector, which is cemented by a long tradition of exchanges and collaboration in disciplines that have a large popular following such as soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and fencing.

The exhibition “Gholamreza Takhti – Portraits of a Champion“ will remain open until 01 September and will be presented to the sporting authorities and the Iranian public via a series of dedicated events scheduled to take place at the Italian residence in Tehran.

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