The Drents Museum’s latest exhibit – Iran: Cradle of Civilisation – will open to the public this weekend.
Translation by Traci White
The museum has been transformed into a bazaar inspired by “One Thousand and One Nights” for the occasion. The exhibit, which opens on Sunday, will feature 200 archaeological finds from Iran, including golden goblets and jewellery, bronze weapons, clay tablets with cuneiform scripts and spectacular painted earthenware, all of which depict the history of one of earth’s oldest and more significant cultures.
One special contemporary element of the exhibit will have six Iranian people living and working in the Netherlands talk about what Iranian history and culture means to them personally. The featured portrait subjects will be, among others, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, a professional footballer; Iliyas Hoshyar, a hair stylist; Melody Deldjou Fard, a politician; and Mahnaz Abbasi, an entrepreneur.
One of the highlights of the exhibit is a replica of an enormous Behistun Inscription, a sculpture on the side of a 66-meter-high rock commissioned by Darius the Great in 520 B.C. The inscription features texts in three languages: Elamite, Old Persian and Babylonian, and signified the founding of the new Persian Empire.
This will mark the first time that many of the items have ever been on display in the Netherlands, and some of the exhibit has never left Iran before. The exhibit will cover the period between 10,000 B.C. and 1700 A.D., ranging from the very earliest agricultural development through the Persian Empire and the Islamic period. At its peak, the Persian Empire covered an area of 5,000 kilometres and was larger than the Roman Empire.
The exhibit will officially open to the public on Sunday, 17 July and will run through 18 November at the Drents Museum.
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