The Persian Renaissance: A Spectacular Exhibition Devoted to the Glories of the Ancient Persian Empire Has Opened at the British Museum. It Represents One of the Great Success Stories of Ancient History, Writes Tom Holland
Holland, Tom, New Statesman (1996)
Just south of the palatial grounds of the British embassy in Tehran stand two of the world's more unmissable museums. The first is devoted to the arts of the Muslim period: from calligraphy to carpets, Iran's Islamic heritage is to be found there, lovingly and expensively displayed. The best way to appreciate just how many resources have been lavished upon this modern and airy shrine to the splendours of Muslim Iran is to cross a forecourt and visit its twin. The National Museum is a gloomy mausoleum that showcases a much earlier period of history: the long millennia before the arrival of Islam. The treasures here are among the most archaeologically significant in the whole of the Middle East--but their setting is dingy and depressing. Many of the most precious artefacts are not even on display, but have to be kept locked away in a basement because of security inadequacies. Gold and silver are notable by their absence. The display cabinets incline instead to a dull grey monochrome.
This neglect of the …
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Publication information: Article title: The Persian Renaissance: A Spectacular Exhibition Devoted to the Glories of the Ancient Persian Empire Has Opened at the British Museum. It Represents One of the Great Success Stories of Ancient History, Writes Tom Holland. Contributors: Holland, Tom - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 134. Issue: 4758 Publication date: September 19, 2005. Page number: 38+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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