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Francis Bacon

Is Tehran’s Bacon coming to London?

Tate hopes to secure the hidden gem

Tate Britain is hoping to borrow an important Bacon triptych from Iran. Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art acquired the painting in the early 1970s, under the Shah. It was sold by the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 1968. “Two figures lying on a bed with attendants” has never been shown since the fall of the Shah and its subject matter means it has been considered not suitable for display in Iran. Tate Britain director Stephen Deuchar was in Tehran last month, partly to discuss the loan. It is hoped that the Bacon triptych (nearly 4.5 metres wide) will come to London in April, when it will form the centrepiece of a small display.