Art and music from great courts of Islam
PARMA (ANSA) – Scores of treasures from the golden years of Islamic art and music shine out in a new show in this northern Italian city.
The Aga Khan has sent almost 200 works from his private collection including paintings, wooden and metal
artefacts, ceramics, textiles and illuminated manuscripts spanning the length and breadth of historical Islam’s cultural world, from China to southern Spain.
It will be the first time they have appeared in Italy.
The collection is the centrepiece of a wider show, Arts And Music From The Islamic World, running here from
March 31 to June 3.
It will also feature seminars on cultural dialogue between Islam and the West.
The event has been set up by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in collaboration with Parma art chiefs and the famed city opera house, the Teatro Regio.
Some of the greatest musicians and music experts from central Asia will reproduce music from the fabled Oriental courts at the Regio this weekend, kicking the event off.
The exhibition itself, curated by British Museum Islamic art expert Sheila Canby, is divided into two parts.
The first, entitled The Word Of God, displays sumptuously decorated copies of the Koran dating from the 8th
to the 15th centuries.
The second, The Power Of The Sovereign, recreates the great courts of Egypt, Persia and other countries through their literature, pastimes and music.
The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Ismaeli sect and a hugely wealthy businessman with extensive interests in Italy and abroad. He spends much of his time at his luxury home on Sardinia’s famous Emerald Coast.