Pablo Picasso (Spanish painter)
Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.
National libraries of Iran, Azerbaijan ink cooperation agreement
Arts & Culture Desk
The national libraries of Iran and
Azerbaijan signed an agreement in Baku to expand library cooperation.
The agreement was signed in an online ceremony attended by Iran’s Ambassador to Baku Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s Cultural Attaché to Azerbaijan Qorban-Ali Pourmarjan, Director of Azerbaijan National Library Karim Tahirov, and Director of National Library and Archives of Iran Ashraf Boroujerdi.
The signed agreement highlights sharing information and experiences as well as exchanging documents and experts, holding specialized courses and workshops and also research collaborations between the two libraries, IRNA wrote.
Tahirov described the cultural and library relations between the two countries with a long history and expressed hope that these ties will further develop.
According to him, the National Library of Azerbaijan, with about five million book titles, is the largest library in the country, which had up to 1,500 daily visitors and users before the coronavirus outbreak, but is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mousavi listed some points including the need to participate in the book markets of both countries to expand cooperation.
Mousavi said that the National Library and Archives of Iran is very professional in restoring and repairing old books and manuscripts, adding that Azerbaijan could send its people to Tehran for receiving education in this field.
The Iranian library has a very high position among researchers because of having more than three million books, thousands of documents, and more than 40,000 manuscripts besides very extensive services to professors, students, and researchers, Boroujerdi added.
According to earlier reports, it is very important for the National Library and Archives of Iran to develop relationships with libraries of friends and neighboring countries, especially Azerbaijan.
Iran, Italy resume cooperation in cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts sectors
Arts & Culture Desk
The Italian-Iranian project on cultural tourism, launched in 2019 and subsequently interrupted due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, resumed its operational phase with a roundtable on cultural heritage promotion
and responsible tourism development, held at the
residence of the Italian Ambassador to Iran, Giuseppe Perrone.
The program was carried out by the Italian Embassy and the Italian Trade Agency Office in Tehran in cooperation with the Italian Cooperatives Alliance and the Iranian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, according to an Italian Embassy press release obtained by Iran
The roundtable was attended by members of the implementing parties of both countries.
In his introductory remarks, Perrone stressed the great potential for cooperation on tourism development between Italy and Iran, which can be fully tapped into as the pandemic gets contained in both countries.
“Our aim is to further develop the existing strong synergies between tourism and economic development and provide momentum for the use of cutting-edge technologies in the preservation and promotion of our two countries’ cultural heritage,” he said.
The presentations were held partially in a virtual format, and partially in the presence in the garden of the Italian ambassador’s residence. Main topics included responsible tourism and its most promising areas of development, such as historical, cultural and health tourism, use of social media and new information and communication technologies for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, training of human resources and development of new tourism marketing strategies.
The next steps envisaged within the project include an Iranian mission to Italy for a visit to some of the leading Italian tourism sites and a briefing on Italian best practices. This step will be followed by the implementation of a pilot project in Iran on the so-called ‘Golden Triangle of Khuzestan,’ which encompasses in its territory the Iranian UNESCO sites of Susa, Shushtar and Chogha Zanbil.
Handwoven Persian carpets registered by WIPO
Director of the National Carpet Center Farahnaz Rafe’ said on Wednesday that the Iranian handmade carpet was registered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
From now on, Iranian handwoven carpets will be exported with the WIPO badge to preserve the authenticity and identity of the Iranian art industry in the international arena, she noted, according to IRNA.
She described the global registration of a badge for handwoven carpets as a great move towards preserving and protecting this original art industry.
The badge was designed by a South Korean company for free, and registered with the support of WIPO, she added.
Supported by WIPO, a website also will be designed and soon launched to introduce and develop the brand of Iranian carpet.
Rafe’ added that production, exports and job creation are three main strategies to strengthen the status of Persian carpets.
WIPO is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations, which was set up in 1967 to encourage creative activity and promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.
Alexander Aladashvili, great Georgian Iranologist, dies at 65
Prominent Georgian Iranologist, Alexander Aladashvili, died at the age of 65, the Iranian Embassy in Georgia reported on Wednesday.
Born on April 16, 1956, in Tbilisi, Georgia, Aladashvili graduated in Persian language and literature from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in 1978, IRNA reported.
He was a member of the Georgia Writers Association since 2017 and the winner of the Ivane Machabeli Award in 2017.
The late Iranologist worked with the translation committee of the Georgian association.
His first translations were published in the Tbilisi University newspaper.
Aladashvili was an Iranologist, a poet, and a translator.
During his life, Aladashvili translated and published parts of poems created by prominent Iranian poets, including Ferdowsi, Rudaki, Rumi, and Khayyam.
He also released a Persian-Georgian dictionary, with the help of the Iranian Embassy in Tbilisi.
Fourth online Persian language course starts in Japan
Arts & Culture Desk
Iran’s Embassy in Japan and the Tehran-based Sa’adi Foundation started the fourth course of Persian language in Japan in an online format.
In a virtual meeting, Persian language instructors of the literary foundation briefed students on the course.
A number of 120 Japanese students from Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and other Japanese cities have enrolled.
The embassy and foundation hope that such courses will boost Tehran-Tokyo cultural ties.
Paintings reveal hidden histories of Africans in England
Six paintings that tell fascinating, not widely known stories of people from the African diaspora in England’s history, including the Roman emperor who strengthened Hadrian’s Wall and Queen Victoria’s goddaughter, were unveiled by English Heritage.
The heritage body commissioned six artists to paint portraits, putting them on display at forts, abbeys, historic houses and barracks where they have an association.
According to theguardian.com, the project was about bringing their stories to life for a wider audience, said Anna Eavis, English Heritage’s curatorial director.
The subjects include Septimius Severus, who was born in Leptis Magna, the present day city of Al-Khums in Libya. He traveled to Britain in 208 CE and ordered the strengthening of Hadrian’s Wall and the reoccupation of the Antonine Wall, across what is now central Scotland, with a view to expanding his
He has been painted by Elena Onwochei-Garcia who said she was drawn to Septimius because of her own multiheritage background, in her case Nigerian, Spanish and German. “This made me reflect on how people might imagine someone like us to look like,” she said.
“I wanted to go beyond painting Rome’s ‘African emperor,’ to portray a complex individual by paying attention to his personality and how he chose to be seen in his coins, statues and architecture.
“Historically, black people have had little control over their portrayal. Septimius Severus embodied and altered the image of the Roman Empire.”
The portrait is on display as of Wednesday at Corbridge Roman Town on Hadrian’s Wall.
Another subject is Dido Belle, born in 1761, the daughter of an enslaved black woman and a British naval officer. She was raised as part of the aristocratic Murray family in Georgian London and spent much of her life at Kenwood House on the edge of Hampstead Heath.
Belle has been painted by Mikéla Henry-Lowe. She welcomed “the opportunity to paint a black woman who experienced growing up in an aristocratic family, because most depictions of black women in Georgian Britain were shown as slaves.”
Clifton Powell has painted
Abbot Hadrian, an African scholar in Anglo-Saxon England and the abbot of St Augustine’s Abbey, Kent. Hadrian was from Cyrenaica, a Roman/Byzantine province in North Africa.
Powell said he had felt his subject’s presence since he started the portrait and played monastic Gregorian chants while he painted.
Hannah Uzor has painted the portrait of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, the daughter of a West African ruler who was enslaved by King Gezo of Dahomey, present-day Benin. In 1850, Bonetta was presented as a “diplomatic gift” to a British naval captain, Frederick Forbes, and taken to England.
Bonetta was introduced to Queen Victoria who was evidently charmed by her, describing her as “sharp and intelligent”. Victoria became her godmother and paid for her education in Sierra Leone and Gillingham, Kent.
Chloe Cox has painted Arthur Roberts, the son of a Trinidadian man, who was born in 1897 in Bristol and grew up in Glasgow. He served in the First World War and survived the battle of Passchendaele. The painting is on display at Berwick-upon-Tweed barracks in Northumberland.
The sixth painting is of James Chappell (1648-1730), a servant at Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire, who saved the life of the hall’s owner. He has been painted by Glory Samjolly.
‘Painting Our Past: The African Diaspora in England’ will run from June 9 to November 5, 2021.