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A special exhibition is still taking place in Venice, from last 1st October 2011 until 22nd January 2012. An exhibition in which history, adventure, science, trade, historical events and great artworks interweave.
As well as Cleopatra seduced Caesar and later Mark Antony, the charming Egypt was able to seduce Rome and later, in the course of time, the whole West.
The exhibition, taking place in the wonderful Sala dello Scrutinio at Palazzo Ducale in Venice – symbol of the city – shows with many findings the relationships between Venice and Egypt during almost 2 thousand years (from the classic age until the opening of Suez canal, an initiative proposed by the government in the 16th century and created only in 1869 with the help of the engineer Negrelli).
Precious archaeological finds, inedited books and artworks by Venetian artists such as Giorgione, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Strozzi and Piranesi showing the history of such cultures: the transfer of the body of St Mark from Alessandria in 828, the adventures of explorers as Giambattista Belzoni, one of the founding fathers of Italian archaeology, and Giovanni Miani, the adventures of merchants and diplomats looking for goods, hidden treasures and lands, curious facts regarding scientists and humanists decoding hieroglyphics and studying pyramids and the ancient science of pharaohs.
What emerges from the 9 sections of the exhibition is a description of contiguity, familiarity, relationships between 2 different worlds: two “far” countries, different for their language, traditions, habits and customs and religions but that were able to create a “Mediterranean culture” thanks to centuries-old relationships.
Strong relationships, if it’s true that Venice is the only European city that since the year 1000 has an Arab name different form the original one: “al-bunduqiyya”.
Over 300 artworks will wonder you at Doge’s Palace in Venice. Just think that the organization of the exhibition involved about 70 experts.
This post is also available in: Italian