22 July 2013
At the official opening of an exhibition of works by Iranian visual artist Bahram Alivandi at the European Parliament on 9 July 2013, Ryszard Czarnecki said: ‘I am honoured to be playing host here in Parliament to an exhibition showing a side to the Iranian resistance movement hitherto unseen in Europe'.
At the official opening of an exhibition of works by Iranian visual artist Bahram Alivandi at the European Parliament on 9 July 2013, Ryszard Czarnecki said: ‘I am honoured to be playing host here in Parliament to an exhibition showing a side to the Iranian resistance movement hitherto unseen in Europe. Bahram Alivandi is a hero who produced more than 3000 works during his lifetime and who will go down in the history of Iran. This is one of the most important exhibitions in the European Parliament in recent years’.
The exhibition was organised by Ryszard Czarnecki from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and Hanif Asyabani from the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Special guests included Bahram Alivandi’s widow, Nahid Hematabadi, representatives of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Alejo Vidal-Cuadras (PPE), EP Vice-President, Oldřich Vlasák (PPE), EP Vice-President, and EP Members Struan Stevenson (ECR), Tunne Kelam (PPE), Steven Hughes (S&D) and Romana Jordan (PPE).
Bahram Alivandi was one of Iran’s leading modern artists. Following the 1979 revolution, in response to the artistic censorship and brutality of Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime and following a short period of imprisonment, he left Iran and settled in Vienna in 1983. In exile, he threw himself into his art, producing more than 3000 works. His paintings focus on the eternal struggle between darkness and light – a reflection of his own commitment to the struggle against injustice and oppression in Iran. In 1994 he joined the National Council of Resistance of Iran, of which he remained a member until his death on 12 May 2012.
During the opening ceremony, Alejo Vidal-Cuadras said: ‘Bahram Alivandi was not only a brilliant artist but also a man with the courage to say no to oppression. Experience has shown that appeasement of dictatorships is condemned to failure. The works we have before us today stand as a tribute to Bahram Alivandi’s vision of a democratic Iran’.
Oldřich Vlasák said: ‘Alivandi was forced into exile, but he never lost faith in the idea of returning to a free Iran. Let us pay tribute to his vision for his country and do everything we can to bring about a free and democratic Iran’.
‘Bahram Alivandi was a great modernist painter who was fascinated by Persian mythology and the struggle between darkness and light. He was also a great patriot. We all live for the day when his works of art will be restored to their rightful place in a free and democratic Iran’, said Struan Stevenson.
Tunne Kelam said: ‘Bahram Alivandi remained true to his beliefs until the day he died. His lives on in his works, and his spirit is very much with us here this evening’.
‘He was a remarkable artist, and also a resolute, uncompromising man who rejected dictatorship and tyranny. Despite being thrown in prison, he never lost hope in a return to freedom and democracy in Iran’, said Stephen Hughes.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a broad coalition of Iranian organisations, groups and individuals brought together by their democratic ideals, was formed in Tehran in 1981. The NCRI is an open, pluralistic organisation which acts as an Iranian parliament in exile and has more than 500 members, including representatives of ethnic and religious minorities such as the Kurds, Baluchis, Armenians, Jews and Zoroastrians, covering a broad spectrum of political tendencies in Iran. Its aim is to set up a secular and democratic republic of Iran, based on the principle of separation between state and religion. Half of the NCRI’s members are women.
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