For the first time in a Berlin institution, the cultural history of Iran – from the early civilisations through to the modern era – is the focus of a major art-historical survey exhibition. Some 360 objects from the Sarikhani Collection in London will be on display, alongside exhibits from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The works on exhibit bear witness to the central role that Iran played as a site of innovation, as a melting pot and cultural powerhouse connecting Africa, Asia and Europe. Additionally, it presents a rich kaleidoscope of the cultural creativity of urban societies.

Highlights are the pre-Islamic empires of the Achaemenids and Sasanids, the formation of a Persian-Islamic culture and the artistic masterpieces of the 9th to 13th centuries as well as the heyday of the Safavids.

"Iran: Five Millennia of Art and Culture" is curated by Ute Franke together with Stefan Weber from the Museum für Islamische Kunst and Ina Sandmann from the Sarikhani Collection. 


Stefan Weber, Director of the Museum für Islamische Kunst said " This exhibition seeks to independently showcase – though without losing sight of the present – a long-standing national culture that is of the utmost importance for us too. Indeed, it might be one of the most important cultures anywhere in the world".

Guides are offering tours of the exhibition that can be booked in German, English, Arabic and Farsi. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Hirmer Verlag: hardcover, 396 pages, 610 colour illustrations, retail price: 49.90 Euro. The catalogue will be available in bookshops at the end of October 2021.

The exhibition runs from December 4 until 20 March 2022.