Ahmadinejad fires Mousavi from arts academy; faculty members threaten to quit
Los Angeles Times / Meris Lutz

Iran's Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution announced late Tuesday that it had removed opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi from his position as head of the Academy of Arts, apparently at the behest of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi, a successful artist and architect, had been the head of the academy since it was founded in 1998 and even designed the building that houses it. Although he has kept his post on the Expediency Council, Mousavi's removal from his post at the academy has provoked outrage from his colleagues, with 27 of 30 faculty members threatening to resign in solidarity.

According to Khabaronline, a news website, the faculty members who have sided with Mousavi include his wife, Zahra Rahnavard; celebrated miniaturist Mahmoud Farshchina; and renowned film directors Majid Majdi and Darious Mehrjooie.

The council replaced Mousavi with the pro-regime poet Ali Moallam Damghani and introduced amendments to the academy's constitution giving the government greater control over the body, news media reported.

The academy offers seminars in music, drama, traditional arts, architecture and philosophy of art, in addition to hosting exhibitions and producing publications and a radio program.

The move was not unexpected, but may have been spurred by renewed protes... >>>

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