Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Vaziri Cave Museum

The Vaziri Cave Museum (غار موزه وزیری) is a privately owned museum that was created in 2005 and covers 1,000 square meters ground in Lavasan area, Tehran district. It was founded by Naser Houshmand Vaziri, one of the outstanding sculptors in Iran and all of the designs, creativities and inventions have been made by him. Dr. Vaziri received a BA in sculpturing from Tehran Art University in 1971. Then, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in 1994. He won the first award in the First Sculpturing Biennial in 1995. He is also a founding member of Iran Sculptors Association. He also was a professor in Surah University in 1995 and subsequently art manager of Pardisan Natural History Museum until 1999.

The entrance to the museum displays a lion’s head while an angel, deep in thought, and winged animals peek over the wall. 

The museum is both indoors and outdoors and is comprised of an exhibition, workshop section, handcrafts, education compartment, a gallery, and a conference hall. The items on show cover a range of visual arts and are all made of recycled materials such as discarded bottles, wires, shards of glass, buttons, springs and even toilets. 

Some of the exhibits depict the stories of Ferdosi’s Shahnameh, Iranian folklore and Iranian original culture with characters such as Rostam and Arash Kamangir

Others showcase famous Iranian personalities such as Amir Kabir, Takhti, Sattar Khan or Cyrus the Great

The beard on the various Rostam figurines and statues strongly resembles that of Dr. Vaziri although it’s not clear which has been designed to resemble the other.

Since its establishment, corridors have been dug inside the mountain to exhibit his works which took six years to build are still being developed. A lion’s head (or rather mouth) similar to that at the front door but much larger is the entrance into the cave. 

The cave interior space includes eight labyrinths whose main wall is the mountain rock and a layer of concrete has covered it. On the second corridor entrance, a sculpture of Rostam is set up as if carrying the roof of the cave on his shoulders.

The museum also includes a treehouse which is accessible through a series or ladders and aerial walkways. 

Beneath the treehouse is a gazebo in which Dr. Vaziri entertained guests with tea and entertaining tales of his works of art. 

On one such visit he requested help relocating his latest piece, a peacock made primarily from car shocks. The fact that it took six adults to lift it indicated how difficult setting up or redecorating the museum is.

The Vaziri Caved Museum is open to visitors on weekdays from 9:00 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 19:00, and on Fridays and holidays from 9:00 to 19:00 (He received and welcomed us in even though we had arrived during the closed lunch hours). Dr. Vaziri died of a heart attack in 2019 at the age of 73.

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