The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art at Kerameikos, Athens, is probably the most important cultural institution in the Greek capital dealing with topics related to the sharpest-received form of “otherness” in the country: Islam, its history, its arts and crafts.
Set on the outskirts of an area full of immigrants, a good deal of whom are Muslim, the Museum can offer a point of contact between the two “others” in Athens. Particularly the special venues of the Museum are good cases of such attempts to approach and understanding.
So, yesterday we followed with great interest the opening session of Irini Gonou’s seminaries on calligraphy and we sincerely wished that we could be present in all twelve courses and indulge into the beauty of the kalam (reed pen), the inks (out of natural ingredients where the recipe can even include scents), the secrets of the thin and thick lines, the appearance of forms, letters, concepts on the paper.
Here is what our camera captured from this first seminary:
We found this the most brilliant welcome to the world of the Benaki Museum, where tomorrow evening at 19:30, the opening of the exhibition of photographs “From Nubia to Sudan through the eyes of the Greek-Norwegian Archaeological Mission” will take place.
We hope to make this a memorable venue for both the museum and the neighborhood and we are looking forward to discussing with you all the experience of Nubia on the veranda of the museum.