Wim Delvoye Wants to Move His Entire Production to Iran

The Belgian artist has big plans for five mansions.

Wim Delvoye with Suppo in the Louvre museum, part of his exhibition of contemporary art, "Wim Delvoye at the Louvre" in 2012. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR AFP/GettyImages).

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has ambitious plans to launch a museum in the city of Kashan, Iran, according to The Art Newspaper. He may even create “a Belgian restaurant serving vegetarian cuisine.”

Delvoye, who has elicited controversy in the past for tattooing live pigs with designer logos, is restoring five mansions in Kashan, a city of 275,000 inhabitants about a 150 miles from Tehran. The artist plans to create a museum in one of them, which will show his own works alongside a shifting roster of Iranian and international artists. “I want to build castles, towers, staircases,” he told Kisa Lala at the Huffington Post in a 2011 interview. “I was thinking when I was a child if a genie came out of a bottle and offered a crystal ball into my future and said, you are going to have shows in China, and you will sell to people in Yemen or India…I wouldn’t have [believed] it.”

In fact, the artist wants to move all of his art-making operations to Iran, telling The Art Newspaper: “All the things I do in Europe, I will do here.”

Wim Delvoye, Hamadan, Usak (2011) features Iranian carpets on a polyester mold. Image: Courtesy of WimDelvoye.be

Wim Delvoye, Hamadan, Usak (2011) features Iranian carpets on a polyester mold. Courtesy of WimDelvoye.be.

The artist has his first solo show at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (until May 13), and reportedly also has plans for a smaller show at the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art. He currently employs more than 20 people in Kashan, including Iranian craftsman as well as Iranian and European architects, according to The Art Newspaper.

He likened his project to Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in London or Thomas Schütte’s planned museum in Hombroich, near Düsseldorf.

Delvoye’s Iranian project could prove to be a savvy investment if trade ties to Iran keep improving, following last year’s deal on its nuclear program and the lifting of UN-imposed sanctions.

However, flying within the country is still a concern, since there is a slight issue with “runway excursion accidents,” as an Aviation Safety Network report on the county helpfully reports.


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