The Paris Louvre museum has signed a historical agreement with Iran that clears the way for renewed cultural and scientific cooperation with France, according to local reports.
The Art Newspaper says the deal came about during a state visit to France by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The agreement was signed at the presidential Elysée Palace and renews the Louvre’s links with Iran which have been mainly been suspended since the end of the 1970s.
The deal hasn’t yet been publicly announced, but according to the report it lays out a framework for cooperation up to 2019, including plans for exchanges of exhibitions, publications, scientific visits and training sessions, as well as archaeological digs at the country’s many historic sites (pictured).
The two countries will also reportedly work together to stop looting and trafficking.
The agreement follows France’s general diplomatic policy to maintain balanced relationships with all countries in the Middle East –the Louvre has already pledged to help Iraq and Syria protect their cultural heritage, and is building a museum in Abu Dhabi.
The first project will be an exhibition on the Qajar Dynasty (1789-1925), due to open in the spring of 2018 at the Louvre’s satellite museum in Lens, northern France.