Safeguarding and celebrating Egypt’s traditional crafts

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Maria Golia

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A recent contemporary art show mounted in the 13th century Qalawun Mosque in Old Cairo made an unintended point — that whatever the merits of the exhibited work, it was bound to be upstaged by the majestic setting with its elegant masonry, intricate inlay wall panels, wood-carved pulpit, tiled prayer niche, and elaborate stucco. All are stunning examples of art forms on the verge of disappearing yet integral to Egypt’s cultural legacy, while the craftsmanship and craftspeople that produced them are essential for the conservation of these medieval masterpieces.

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