HERMITAGE SHOWS COLLECTIONS OF ISLAMIC ART IN LONDON

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ST PETERSBURG/LONDON, March 25, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - An exhibition of Islamic art (75 pieces) from the Oriental department of the Hermitage will be displayed at the Somerset House in London.

"A similar exhibition was held in London 40 years ago. But this is the first time the Hermitage will present such a broad exhibition of Oriental art," a senior scientific staff member of the Oriental department of the Hermitage, Adel Adamova, told RIA Novosti.

Pieces from different Muslim countries from the Middle Ages to the 19th century are in the exhibition. Visitors to the exhibition will have a chance to see the best bronze articles, Turkish and Iranian weapons, jewels, Persian miniatures, Russian chasubles made from Turkish and Persian fabrics, and Iranian velvet from the 16th century.

Ms. Adamova said that the tiles from Iranian mausoleums in the 13th century are especially interesting.

Sixty pieces from the private collection of Nasser D. Khalili (UK), one of the best private collections of Islamic art, will also be shown at the exhibition.

This is the most impressive exhibition of Islamic art in London since the Hayward Gallery held an Islamic festival in 1976. While the exhibit is not very big, it promises to become one of the main cultural events of the year, a spokesman for the Somerset House told RIA Novosti.

The exhibition of Islamic art at the Somerset House will be open until August 22, 2004.

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