Turkish art 'invades' National library Naples

Ancient codes and coins showcase Islamic world

11 September, 14:44

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, SEPTEMBER 11 - The inauguration of the exhibit 'Knowledge of the Islamic world in Naples (XVI-XIX century)' will open Tuesday at the National library in Naples the 15th edition of the International congress on Turkish art, taking place in Italy after the 2011 edition in Paris.

    The choice of Naples was made for the historic interest the city has for the Turkish world. In the so-called Golden century of Spanish power, Naples was the main port of the western Mediterranean while Istanbul was at the time governed by Suleiman, lord of the Ottoman Empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean coasts to today's Poland and Ukraine.

    Though with conflicts, at times bloody, such powers observed each other, studying their respective languages and cultures.

    Indeed the symbol for the days dedicated to Turkish art was a map of the Neapolitan coast made to illustrate the book of the sea (Kitab-i Bahriye) by Piri Reis, an Ottoman admiral and cartographer from the XVI century.

    The Neapolitan event will open Tuesday at 4 pm at the National Library with the inauguration of the show (running through September 26), curated by Luca Berardi. Manuscripts and rare prints produced by the Islamic world and preserved at the library will be on display alongside Italian works of value demonstrating efforts to study and comprehend Islamic culture starting from the 1500s.

    Four codes are of great value, an Arabic-Italian vocabulary, a Turkish-Arabic-Persian language text, an Arabic-Turkish dictionary, made in Naples at the convent of San Giovanni in Carbonara by Lebanese friar Giuseppe Agostino Sahim Gazala.

    Among Arab codes is a splendid Koran from Maghreb perhaps dating back to 1524, transferred to Austria by Charles VI and back in Naples after world War One.

    A museum of ancient coins dates back to 1793, placed in chronological order according to dynasties. Persian manuscripts of great artistic value are also on display along with codes from the mid-16th century.

    On Wednesday, a four-day congress dedicated to relations between Naples and Turkey will open. It will also discuss art through architecture, archaeological digs and the art of the book. (ANSAmed)
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