03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

$5 Billion Of Masterpiece Art Locked Away In Iran

The Picasso masterpiece is worth an estimated £25-30m on the international art market, but its only regular contact with the human eye is the fiercely critical gaze of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

A life-size portrait of the Iranian leader stares in apparent disapproval at the Spanish master's The Painter and His Model, a piece that is every bit as provocative as it sounds. The two paintings hang almost opposite each other in a basement underneath Tehran's museum of contemporary art. Alongside, languishing in similar obscurity, is a startling array of world famous paintings by the likes of Monet, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Renoir, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Magritte, Miró and Braque.

Read more on Guardian

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