Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Moroccan Craftsmen in The NY Met

The China Daily carries an article entitled "An Islamic fantasia by authentic craftsmen" about the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition showing Moroccan craftsmen at work recreating a medieval Maghrebi-Andalusian-style courtyard in one of it's galleries:

"A group of highly regarded Moroccan craftsmen came essentially to take up residence at the Met. Beginning last December, they worked some days in their jabador tunics and crimson fezzes (known as tarbooshes in Morocco) to build that 14th-century Islamic fantasia, a courtyard with tile patterns based on those in the Alhambra palace in Granada. Above the courtyard rise walls of fantastically filigreed plaster, leading to a carved cedar molding based on the renowned woodwork in the 14th-century Attarin madrasa, or Islamic school, in Fez.

The courtyard has taken on an unforeseen importance for the museum; for the Kingdom of Morocco itself; and for a constituency of Muslim scholars and supporters of the Met. They hope it will function as a symbol of the fact that aesthetic and intellectual commerce remains alive between Islam and the West.

The Moroccans are in essence living historians who have carried on patterns and designs preserved in practice for generations. But they have never attempted a job requiring this level of historical attention or artistry."

You can view the full article here.

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