Syria and Iran at the Aga Kahn Museum in Toronto

By | October 29, 2017

Let’s say given the weather and the name of the exhibit, “Syria A Living History” did not put me in a very jolly mood. So much death, misery and destruction of life and beautiful historical structures I just really couldn’t take any more negativity.

Strangely I was both saddened and buoyed by the exhibit and walked away knowing more about Syria than simply a litany of bad news.

What created modern day Syria may also be leading to its destruction. Syria has been part of different empires and their religions. The Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Ottoman and Arabic cultures have made Syria what it is today. “Syria A Living History” includes artifacts, pictures and paintings spanning some 5,000 years.

For the first time in North America there is a virtual experience where through the use of a tablet one can view a Christian merchant’s house in Aleppo in the 17th century. There are also 48 works in the Exhibition as well as two digital reproductions.

The oldest work is a carved eye idol from around  . Many museums have lent their material for the exhibit including the Met in New York, the ROM in Toronto and the Louvre in Paris. There are six contemporary works by Syrian artists.

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