MAPPING THE GLOBAL PERSEPOLIS DIASPORA
Mapping the global Persepolis diaspora
Lecture by Dr Lindsay Allen
XERXES PARAPET, PERSEPOLIS
Iran Heritage Foundation
Wednesday 3rd May, 18.30
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
The first stone fragments from the royal structures on the terrace at Takht-i Jamshid left for Europe in 1705, with the Dutch artist Cornelis de Bruijn. Only one of his pieces is now extant, in Paris, where it travelled along learned networks of the late eighteenth century, because it was covered in cuneiform characters. The Persepolis Diaspora Project has traced the biographies of the majority of architectural fragments in museums outside Iran. The result is a portrait of the site in motion, migrating according to global currents of economic power, first to Amsterdam, then Bombay, Britain, Russia, Paris, and finally North America. This talk maps the diaspora of the fragments and charts the varying levels of destruction that produced them. A historiographical approach combines archival and object study to produce a granular analysis of how sites may be eroded in peacetime as well as during conflict. Our study also contributes to a base-line understanding of the state of preservation of this major world heritage site, and advances ideas about how we may relate its dispersed elements back to their source.
The Persepolis Diaspora Project is supported by the Soudavar Memorial Foundation.
Dr Lindsay Allen in Lecturer in Greek and Near Eastern History at King’s College London. She is the author of The Persian Empire (2005), and teaches courses on pre-Islamic Iran, Persepolis, Alexander and the Near East in the first millennium BC at KCL. Her current research concerns the evolution of scholarship about Iran and other intersections of texts and ancient objects.
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