Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Parviz Eskandarpour Khorrami also told Fars News Agency that experts believe the carpet belongs to the famous carpet-weaving workshop named ’Amu Oqli’, which was woven more than 100 years ago.
“Amu Oqli is the most famous carpet-weaving workshop dating back to the Qajar and Pahlavi eras, which was run by three generations of Amu Oqli family,“ he said.
The official pointed out that natural colors are used in the Amu Oqli carpet.
“The carpet is made of cotton, wool and natural fabrics,“ he added.
Khorrami said the Presidential Office will donate a total of 135 precious carpets to the museum, 40 of which have already been donated.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Textile Museum to Host Tribute Dinner Fundraising Gala at the Historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
The Textile Museum will host its third Tribute Dinner fundraising gala on Thursday, October 16 from 6:30 to 10:00 pm at the historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Textile Museum will honor preeminent scholar Jon Thompson with the George Hewitt Myers Award, named for The Textile Museum's founder and given in recognition of his lifetime achievement and exceptional contributions to the study and understanding of the textile arts. Also included in the evening program is the presentation of the Museum's inaugural Awards of Distinction to longtime supporters Harold M. Keshishian, Alice Dodge Wallace and Edwin M. Zimmerman for their distinguished service in fulfillment of the Museum's mission. The Tribute Dinner is part of the Museum's "Tribute to Textiles Weekend" (October 15-19, 2008), a full program of interrelated events celebrating the textile arts.
(PRWEB) July 28, 2008 -- The Textile Museum will host its third Tribute Dinner fundraising gala on Thursday, October 16 from 6:30 to 10:00 pm at the historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Textile Museum will honor preeminent scholar Jon Thompson with the George Hewitt Myers Award, named for The Textile Museum's founder and given in recognition of his lifetime achievement and exceptional contributions to the study and understanding of the textile arts. Also included in the evening program is the presentation of the Museum's inaugural Awards of Distinction to longtime supporters Harold M. Keshishian, Alice Dodge Wallace and Edwin M. Zimmerman for their distinguished service in fulfillment of the Museum's mission. The Tribute Dinner is part of the Museum's "Tribute to Textiles Weekend" (October 15-19, 2008), a full program of interrelated events celebrating the textile arts.
George Hewitt Myers Award Honoree
Jon Thompson is a noted scholar in the field of textile arts. From 2001 to 2007, Thompson held the position of May Beattie Fellow in Carpet Studies at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Khalili Research Centre, at the University of Oxford. In this capacity, he directed the Beattie Carpet Archive, working toward the establishment of a database of images and notes on carpets made by May Hamilton Beattie (1908-1996) in order to make her research available to scholars. His work also involved teaching courses on carpets and textiles of the Islamic world at Oxford University and at the British Museum. Though now retired from Oxford, Thompson continues to teach in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
This year Thompson is guest curator of an exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary of the New York-based Hajji Baba Club, the nation's oldest and most prestigious rug and textile collecting group. The exhibition is on view at the New York Historical Society through August 17, 2008 and will open as "Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas" at The Textile Museum on October 18, 2008. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated catalogue, "Timbuktu to Tibet: Exotic Rugs and Textiles from New York Collectors," also written by Thompson.
Awards of Distinction Honorees
Awards of Distinction honorees Harold M. Keshishian, Alice Dodge Wallace and Edwin M. Zimmerman have supported The Textile Museum for many years as Trustees and through philanthropic gifts, donations to the collections, loans for exhibitions, public program presentations and other generous contributions. They were chosen to receive The Textile Museum's inaugural Awards of Distinction in recognition of their distinguished service in fulfillment of the Museum's mission, and will be honored during the Museum's Tribute Dinner on October 16.
"The dedication of these individuals to our mission sustains our efforts and ensures our future growth as a leader in scholarship, presentation and conservation of the textile arts," said Museum Director Daniel Walker. "We are pleased to honor their many contributions, in so many forms, to The Textile Museum."
About the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
The largest luxury hotel in Washington D.C., the Mayflower, an acclaimed Renaissance Washington D.C. hotel, is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America. Situated in the heart of the business district, just four blocks from the White House, this historic hotel offers a timeless aura that makes it the "second best address in the nation's capital."
About "Tribute to Textiles Weekend"
From Wednesday, October 15 through Sunday, October 19, 2008, The Textile Museum will host a "Tribute to Textiles Weekend." The event-filled celebration includes the Museum's third Tribute Dinner fundraising gala; the annual Textile Museum Fall Symposium, this year on the topic Cultural Threads: Exploring the Context of Oriental Rugs and Textiles; and several events held in conjunction with the fall exhibition, "Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas," opening October 18.
For more information about the "Tribute to Textiles Weekend" program, sponsorship opportunities, to purchase tickets for the Tribute Dinner gala, or to register for The Textile Museum Fall Symposium, visit www.textilemuseum.org or contact Ingrid Faulkerson at (202) 667-0441, ext. 78 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Textile Museum
Established in 1925 by George Hewitt Myers, The Textile Museum is an international center for the exhibition, study, collection and preservation of the textile arts. The Museum explores the role that textiles play in the daily and ceremonial life of individuals the world over. Special attention is given to textiles of the Near East, Asia, Africa and the indigenous cultures of the Americas. The Museum also presents exhibitions of historical and contemporary quilts, and fiber art. With a collection of more than 18,000 textiles and rugs and an unparalleled library, The Textile Museum is a unique and valuable resource for people locally, nationally and internationally.
Friday, July 18, 2008
On the Decline
Until a few decades, mats were used to cover floors, walls, windows and ceilings of houses in Gilan province. In addition to being beautiful decorations, mats helped absorb humidity as well, Mehr News Agency reported.
’Abkenar’ mat, woven by women, was very popular in Gilan in the not too distant past. Mats were used in almost all houses in the northern province and housewives washed them twice a year: at the beginning of spring and fall.
In the past, many women of Gilan made mats in addition to their daily housework for earning extra money.
History books recall that the art of mat weaving flourished in Anzali to an extent that one of the famous mat merchants in Ghazian had men and women from 150 families weaving mats for him. However, following improvement in standards of living, mats were gradually replaced by machine-made carpets. Consequently, mat-weavers chose to weave hats and baskets instead of floor coverings and handicrafts.
Officials also did not do much to improve the situation and handmade mats are on the verge of becoming a thing of the past.
A handicraft merchant in Rasht, Mohammad Hosseini, lamented the fact that at present, rarely anybody wants to buy mats and those who are interested mats cannot find them.
Only a few mat-weavers are alive. Today, people prefer luxurious synthetic materials and as far as mat handicrafts are involved they prefer only hats and baskets.
He emphasized that since the youth do not slow any interest in learning the art of mat weaving, there are not many who know this art.
A mat-weaver, Morteza Tajaddod, said, “Everything is a function of the law of supply and demand. When there are no customers and nobody supports us, we cannot continue. Until a few years ago, a significant number of mat-weavers in Gilan produced baskets and hats. However, following the unfettered import of Chinese handicrafts and decline in demand, the number of mat-weavers also decreased.
Tajaddod stressed that the art of mat weaving should be preserved by teaching it to the youth.
Another mat-weaver, Fatemeh Rajabi said, “I learned this art from my mother. Mats were mostly used as floor coverings and weaving mat baskets and hats was a secondary consideration. Since in recent years there was not much demand for mat floor coverings, I focused on weaving baskets, hats and silverware covers, and weave floor coverings when I receive an order.
She noted that mats are also used as a covering for the trunk of automobiles and tables.
A resident of one of the villages of Bijar, Safar Moradi, said, “Mat weaving is an art that could fill the leisure time of women, but at present it’s neglected.“
He cited the spread of automation and technological advances as the main reasons for the youth’s lack of interest in learning the art of mat weaving.
“In order to revive this handicraft, the production and sale of mats should be facilitated so that the youth see more incentives in learning mat weaving,“ he said.
Another handicraft expert maintained that even if mat weaving is on the decline, officials are obliged to adopt policies to preserve this art.
Maryam Tavallaei added that public awareness, supporting producers and holding exhibitions can help revive the art of mat weaving.
A joint production of Iran and Portugal, the documentary is themed on Persian hand-woven carpet.
Speaking at the event, Iranian Ambassador to Portugal, Rasoul Sahabi said, “The film is an influential and unique work about the Persian carpet.“
He expressed hope that Persian rugs will gain their due status after an international debut of the documentary, Fars News Agency reported.
The film’s director Juan Mario Girlo, head of Portugal Directors’ Society, and Houman Atyabi, the film’s producer also spoke at the event.
Commenting on the production process, Atyabi said, “The documentary was produced in four stages. We conducted research in the first two stages which began in 2006 in Shiraz, Isfahan, Kashan and Tehran.“
He added that a Portuguese team undertook the third stage in that country, while the final stage, which dealt with the connection between carpet designs and psychology, was completed in Sigmund Freud’s house in London. Freud was an Austrian physician who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology.
“The final section also features the connection between Persian carpet and western culture,“ he further said.
Atyabi pointed out that the film’s main feature is that is looks at Iranian carpet form a western perspective and successfully interacts with the foreign audience.
Commenting on technical aspects of the film, he said, “We also sought the views of experts of hand-woven carpet, and hope the film would serve as a reference in the history of Iran’s carpet.“
Persian carpet is not just a handicraft, however, it is a unique art which should be dealt with at an international level, he concluded.
Sanandaj Governor Mohammad Taqi Heidari said that the plan was approved by deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) last year and should now be followed up by provincial officials, reported IRNA.
He said that with the development of tourism infrastructures in the province, the number of foreign and local tourists to the area has increased. It has become essential to have a tourist town in the area, he added.
Heidari described the lack of hotels and recreational centers as among the problems in the development of the province’s tourism infrastructure.
Sarab-Qamish village is located 15 kilometers south of Sanandaj. Sanandaj or Senna is the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan.
As in most other parts of Iran, carpet weaving is one of the most significant handicrafts of the region, especially in Bijar and Sanandaj.
Shawl, kilim and jajim weaving, woodwork and jewelry and ornaments are among the other main handicrafts of this province.
The unique art of creating backgammon boards from walnut wood of up to 1,000 years old, mostly grown wild in small valleys high up in the Zagros mountains is also special to the area.
The carpet, a center of attraction, has been kept locked for visitors for many years. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje re-opened the museum on July 1 following its closure for renovation since April 2007.
One of India’s finest art treasures, the carpet was deteriorating due to biotic pressure. However, now the Department of Archaeology and Museums will cover the carpet, made at Kerman in Persia in 1632, with a polycarbonate compact sheet.
The carpet portrays the garden of paradise with running water streams on a quadrangular design. Mirza Raja Jai Singh I bought the carpet at a dear price from Safavid king, Shah Abbas of Persia in between 1647 to 1650. After it was brought in the museum, the carpet has been displayed only twice or thrice, said the officials. Besides, the Albert Hall museum has a collection of 16 other ancient era carpets.
Of the total 60 million rupees renovation budget, a handsome amount was spent on installing international level lighting system which would give unprecedented ambience to the artifacts, said Gupta.
“This lighting system gives a particular grace to artifacts which they earlier lacked,“ he said. The museum carries few new features: CCTV cameras, fire detector glass break sensor, iron railing surrounding the museum, and private security guards.
In the new sequence in the museum, the ground floor will display an Egyptian mummy that belongs to the Ptolemaic era, ancient toys and dolls, and paintings. On the first floor, display items include arms and weapons of different rulers, textiles, carpets, metal and wood crafts, pottery, and items related to flora and fauna.
Plaques carrying details of every artifact have been placed making it easy for the tourists to know the history of the items. Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob had designed the museum in 1876 to greet King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to India. It was opened to the public ten years later.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The 17th International Hand-Woven Carpet Exhibition will open in Tehran from August 22-28.
Announcing this, director of Iran National Carpet Center noted that some 70 tradesmen from 35 American, European and Asian countries will showcase their products in an area covering 20,000 square meters in the event.
Morteza Faraji called the effective efforts of Iranian embassies as the main factor behind an increase in foreign countries enthusiasm for participation in the exhibition.
"The event is a best venue for introducing Persian carpet industry to the world," Faraji said. --IRNA
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
|Buying frenzy lights up Iranian art market|
US exports to Iran increase in Bush years
By SHARON THEIMER – 10 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran of nuclear ambitions and helping terrorists. America sent more cigarettes to Iran — at least $158 million worth under Bush — than any other products.
Other surprising shipments to Iran during the Bush administration: brassieres, bull semen, cosmetics, fur clothing, sculptures, perfume, musical instruments and possibly even weapons. Top states shipping goods to Iran include California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of seven years of U.S. government trade data.
Despite increasingly tough rhetoric toward Iran, which Bush has called part of an "axis of evil," U.S. trade in a range of goods survives on-again, off-again sanctions originally imposed nearly three decades ago. The rules allow sales of agricultural commodities, medicine and a few other categories of goods. The exemptions are designed to help Iranian families even as the United States pressures Iran's leaders.
"Our sanctions are targeted against the regime, not the people," said Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces the sanctions. The government tracks exports to Iran using details from shipping records, but in some cases it's unclear whether anyone pays attention.
Sanctions are intended in part to frustrate Iran's efforts to build its military, but the U.S. government's own figures show at least $148,000 worth of unspecified weapons and other military gear were exported from the United States to Iran during Bush's time in office. That includes $106,635 in military rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004, the data shows.
Also shipped to Iran were at least $13,000 in "aircraft launching gear and/or deck arrestors," equipment needed to launch jets from aircraft carriers, according to U.S. records. Iran's navy is not believed to own or operate any carriers.
Those numbers may seem small, but military items can sell for pennies on the dollar compared with what the Pentagon paid. Last year, federal agents seized four F-14 fighter jets sold to domestic buyers by an officer at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Calif., for $2,000 to $4,000 each, with proceeds benefiting a squadron recreation fund. When F-14s were new, they cost roughly $38 million each.
Szubin said it was unlikely exports of military gear occurred, but added that the government was looking into it to be certain after the AP raised questions. He said shipping records are subject to human error, such as citing wrong commodity codes or recording "Iran" as the destination rather than "Iraq." The Treasury Department said Monday it was still checking to see whether it could offer an explanation.
"That's something that would obviously concern us greatly and concern the whole administration," Szubin said in an interview with the AP. "And so when you presented us with the question in the last day we have called over to our colleagues in other government agencies and you can be assured they're looking very carefully into it."
Bush this year signed legislation prohibiting the Pentagon from selling leftover F-14 parts. The law was prompted by AP reporting that buyers for Iran, China and other countries exploited Pentagon surplus sales to obtain sensitive military equipment that included parts for F-14 "Tomcats" and other aircraft and missile components. Two men were indicted in Florida last week on charges they shipped U.S. military aircraft parts to Iran, including Tomcat and attack-helicopter parts.
Iran received at least $620,000 in aircraft parts and $19,600 worth of aircraft during Bush's terms. Iran relies on spare parts from other countries to keep its commercial and military aircraft flying. In some cases, U.S. sanctions allow shipments of aircraft parts for safety upgrades for Iran's commercial passenger jets.
The U.S. government seems uncoordinated on efforts to limit trade with Iran.
The Securities and Exchange Commission sought to shine a light on companies active in Iran but stopped after business groups complained. The Treasury Department allowed some companies and individuals suspected of illegal trading with Iran to escape punishment. Yet the Bush administration also has collected millions of dollars in fines from trade-rule violators and pressed Congress without success to pass laws to strengthen enforcement.
The fact that the United States sells anything to Iran is news to some.
"Until you just told me that about Iran I'm not sure I knew we did any business with Iran," said Fred Wetherington, a tobacco grower in Hahira, Ga., and chairman of Georgia's tobacco commission. "I thought because of the situation between our two governments, I didn't think we traded with them at all, so I certainly didn't know they were getting any cigarettes."
The United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year, government figures show. It exported roughly $146 million worth last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. Even adjusted for inflation, that is more than a tenfold increase.
Exports to Iran are a politically loaded but tiny part of U.S. trade. The United States counted more than $1 trillion in world exports last year. The value of U.S. shipments last year to Canada — America's top trading partner — was more than 1,000 times the value of shipments to Iran.
Top U.S. exports to Iran over Bush's years in office include corn, $68 million; chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate, $64 million; soybeans, $43 million; medical equipment, $27 million; vitamins, $18 million; bull semen, $12.6 million; and vegetable seeds, $12 million, according to the AP's analysis of government trade data compiled by the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research in Holyoke, Mass. The value of cigarettes sold to Iran was more than twice that of the No. 2 category on the export list, vaccines, serums and blood products, $73 million.
Iran is a top customer of Alta Genetics Inc., a Canadian company with an office in Watertown, Wis., that sells bull semen, used to produce healthier, more profitable cattle. "The animals we're working with are genetically superior to those in many parts of the world," said Kevin Muxlow, Alta's global marketing manager.
Also getting Bush administration approval for export to Iran were at least $101,000 worth of bras; $175,000 in sculptures; nearly $96,000 worth of cosmetics; $8,900 in perfume; $30,000 in musical instruments and parts; $21,000 in golf carts and/or snowmobiles; $4,000 worth of movie film; and $3,300 in fur clothing.
Few people or companies asking U.S. permission to trade with Iran are turned down by the Treasury Department, the lead agency for licensing exports to sanctioned countries. During Bush's terms, the office has received at least 4,523 license applications for Iran exports, issued at least 2,821 licenses and 213 license amendments and denied at least 178, Treasury Department data shows.
Neither the Treasury data nor trade data compiled by the Census Bureau identify exporters or specify what they shipped. The AP requested those details under the Freedom of Information Act in 2005 and still is waiting for the Treasury Department to provide them.
Though some trade with Iran is legal, some businesses prefer that people not know about it.
Citing corporate financial reports, the SEC published a list online last year of companies that said they had done business in Iran or four other countries the State Department considers state sponsors of terrorism. The SEC withdrew the list after business groups complained but is considering releasing one again.
"There's no question that people are looking for that kind of information," SEC spokesman John Nester said. "But under the current disclosure regime, it's beyond most people's abilities and time to slog through every corporate report and find companies that make reference to one of those nations."
Business groups oppose publishing such lists. It "could inappropriately label companies with legitimate activities as supporters of terrorism," the European Association of Listed Companies told the commission earlier this year.
An AP photographer strolling through shops in Tehran had no problem finding American brands on the shelves. An AP review of corporate SEC filings found dozens of companies that have done business in Iran in recent years or said their products or services may have made it there through other channels. Some are household names: PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, Canon, BP Amoco, Exxon Mobil, GE Healthcare, the Wells Fargo financial services company, Visa, Mastercard and the Cadbury Schweppes candy and beverage maker.
Georgia led states in exports to Iran over the past seven years, with cigarettes representing $154 million of the $201 million in goods it exported there. Cigarette shipments to Iran peaked in 2006, apparently from a Brown & Williamson cigarette factory in Macon, Ga.
When the plant closed, tobacco shipments to Iran fell dramatically. No U.S. tobacco shipments to Iran were reported for 2007 or the first quarter of this year, the most recent figures available.
British American Tobacco began operating in Iran in 2002, producing most of its cigarettes under a contract with the Iranian tobacco monopoly, company spokesman David Betteridge said. B.A.T. shipped Kent cigarettes from the United States to Iran until 2006, he said.
The factory in Macon closed after B.A.T.'s Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings merged their U.S. tobacco and cigarette businesses. B.A.T. said it now makes cigarettes for export to Iran in Turkey. It declined to say how much tobacco the company previously shipped from the U.S. to Iran, but said the U.S. government approved the shipments.
The Bush administration's record enforcing export laws is mixed. The Office of Foreign Assets Control let the statute of limitations expire in at least 25 cases involving trade with Iran from 2002 to 2005, according to one internal department audit. The companies involved, disclosed to the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, include Acterna Corp., American Export Lines, Parvizian Masterpieces, Protrade International Corp., Rex of New York, Shinhan Bank, Phoenix Biomedical Corp., World Cargo Alliance and World Fuel Services.
Abdi Parvizian of the Parvizian Masterpieces rug gallery in Chevy Chase, Md., said his case was dropped because his business proved everything was imported from Iran legally. He bristled over current congressional proposals to ban imports from Iran, including carpets.
"The problem with the rugs is it has nothing to do with the government of Iran," Parvizian said. "This is something that is made by the very unfortunate people in the country, and those people are going to get hurt more than anybody else."
World Fuel Services said an employee fueled a ship out of Singapore that turned out to be Iranian-owned, and the U.S. government spotted it from a wire transfer. The company explained the mistake to Treasury with no repercussions, said Kevin Welber, general counsel of the company's marine business. It has since put in place techniques to identify Iranian-owned ships, which Welber said can be difficult because some Iranian ships sail under Cyprus flags.
Phoenix Biomedical acknowledged it shipped surgical shunts to Iran without a license. It previously was allowed during the Clinton administration to send them to Iran and sent replacement shunts without a new license, which was required, said Charles Hokanson, who sold Phoenix Biomedical to French-based Vygon and is now chief executive of Vygon USA. He said that was the last business it did with Iran.
The other companies did not respond to requests by the AP for explanations.
Failure to obtain export licenses has caused trouble for some companies whose products can legally be sold to Iran.
Months after Zimmer Dental of Carlsbad, Calif., acquired Centerpulse Dental in late 2003, it learned Centerpulse had sold dental implants and related items to Iran without necessary export licenses, Zimmer spokesman Brad Bishop said. It voluntarily reported the violations to the Treasury Department, which announced in January that Zimmer Dental had paid an $82,850 penalty.
Bishop said the company has since trained employees and also took the easiest solution to avoid such problems:
It stopped doing any business with Iran.
Shahpour Qajaqinejad added that in anthropology literature, this ritual is classified as transient; that is transiting from one phase of life to another.
He noted that Turkmen men and women hold the divine ritual when they attain the age of 63 to stay away from sins and follow the behavioral and personality traits of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “Of course, some people hold a mini ritual at the age of 60 or 61, but then they celebrate more extensively when they reach the age of 63,“ he added.
The researcher recalled that signs and indications in the ritual are usually white, ISNA reported. “In many cultures, white is the color of purity. For example, a 63-year-old woman wears a white scarf and a 63-year-old man wears a white turban in this ritual praying to be distanced from sins and to adhere to the pious way of life of the holy prophet,“ he pointed out.
The expert further said that the host of the ritual makes himself or herself ready a few days before the ceremony day. “Other people give gifts such as blankets, clothing or food to the host and in return they also receive gifts. If a person cannot hold the ritual for any reason, he or she cooks the special food for the occasion, which is called ’Shir-berenj’ (made of milk, rice, sugar and rosewater), and takes it to the mosque before nocturnal prayers so that worshippers eat the food and pray for him or her,“ said Qajaqinejad.
He underlined that while the ritual has been not abandoned in the present era, it has been enfeebled. “The ritual is held among Turkmen people only, who live in the provinces of Golestan, North Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 03:30 IST
Government to display 376-year-old carpet brought by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I from Persia for the public
The next time you visit the stately Albert Hall, which housed one of the oldest museums of the state, do not forget to have a look at the 376-year-old magnificent Persian garden carpet in the Durbar Hall.
The carpet would be the centre of attraction, which was kept locked for visitors for the past many years. Chief minister Vasundhra Raje would re-open the museum on July 1, which was closed for renovation in April 2007.
The carpet, one of India’s finest art treasures, was deteriorating due to biotic pressure. But, now the Department of Archaeology and Museums would cover the carpet, made at Kerman in Persia in 1632, with a polycarbonate compact sheet.
“The sheet cover will not only make it possible for the tourists to have a close look at the carpet but also secure the carpet’s sheen at the same time” director of the department, BL Gupta said.
The carpet portrays the garden of paradise with running water streams on a quadrangular design. Mirza Raja Jai Singh-I had bought the carpet at a dear price from Shah Abbas of Persia in between 1647 to 1650. After it was brought in the meseum,the carpet has been displayed only twice or thrice, said the officials. Besides, the Albert Hall meseum has a collection of 16 other ancient era carpets.
Of the total Rs6 crore renovation budget, a handsome amount was spent on installing international level lighting system which would give unprecedented ambience to the artifacts, said Gupta. “This lighting system gives a particular grace to the artifacts which they earlier lacked,” he said. The museum carries few new features: CCTV cameras, fire detector glass break sensor, iron railing surrounding the museum, and private security guards.
In the new sequence in the museum, the ground floor will display an Egyptian mummy that belongs to the Ptolemaic era, ancient toys and dolls, and paintings. On the first floor, the display items include arms and weapons of different rulers, textiles, carpets, metal and wood crafts, pottery, and items related to flora and fauna.
Plaques carrying details of every artifact have been placed making it easy for the tourists to know the history of the items. Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob had designed the museum in 1876 to greet King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to India. It was opened for public ten years later.