First international loan show for Syria

LONDON. Syria will host its first international loan show from a major museum next month. “World Ceramics: Master­pieces from the V&A”, which includes 116 works from the London museum’s collection, opens at the historic Khan As’ad Basha venue in Damascus on 24 November.

The V&A was invited by the Syrian authorities to participate in the Damascus Arab Capital of Culture festival. The museum declined to say if it had received a fee for the show. The exhibition, which is sponsored by the Syrian arm of the oil conglomerate Shell, charts the history of international ceramics from 3000 BC to today. It travels to the Pera Museum in Istanbul (April-July 2009).

The Syrian show follows the launch of another V&A loan show, an exhibition on British fashion at Moscow’s Kremlin Museums (until 16 November).

“Both the Damascus and Moscow shows demonstrate that cooperative cultural relations can be established and maintained at a time when state to state relations may be difficult,” says Mark Jones, director of the V&A. In exchange for the British show, the Kremlin Museums are sending an exhibition of ceremonial dress worn by the Tsars to the V&A in December.

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