Iranian cultural exhibits on display at Heritage Museum

Dawn– A redesigned and improved Iranian Cultural Link Passage in the Heritage Museum of Lok Virsa opened its door to public on Friday.

Rearranged in collaboration with the Cultural Consulate of the Iranian embassy, the passage mirrors the classical and modern arts, crafts and other art materials of Iran having similarities with the culture of Pakistan.

Iranian ambassador Mehdi-e-Honar Doost was the chief guest at the ribbon-cutting inaugural ceremony, enlivened by musical performances and mystic songs sung by Muhammad Akram, from Lok Virsa music group, and Adnan Haider, who played Pashto and Persian tunes on Rabab.

Metal and brass work was very prominent among the decoration pieces like vases, plates, wall hangings on display at the Link Passage.

These were made with Mina Kari, which is the art of painting, colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours in intricate design. In his address, Ambassador Doost said: “Pakistan is a cradle of history, culture and art which have been beautifully showcased in the Heritage Museum.”

“We, Iranians also take pride in that because Pakistan is a brotherly nation. Pakistan and Iran have deep political relations and both the countries need to strengthen their cultural and trade ties on that pattern,” he added.

He hoped the Link Passage will create better understanding among the people of Pakistan about the cultural heritage of Iran, which reflected the eastern way of life and civilisation. Though Pakistan and Iran enjoyed close ties, he said, there was still a need to work more for developing bilateral relations in different sectors.

Ambassador Doost stressed that strong cooperation was required between Pakistan, Iran and rest of Islamic world to face the current onslaught and negative propaganda against the Islamic civilisation. Iranian movies were playing a key role in this regard, he noted.

He said such art galleries and events meant to preserve the Islamic culture and art could also help in creating awareness among our future generations about their rich culture, history and civilisation.

Executive Director, Lok Virsa, Dr Fouzia Saeed said the Heritage Museum was established in the year 2004 as the first state museum of ethnology in Pakistan, depicting living cultural heritage presented through three-dimensional creative manner.

Apart from documenting and preserving the indigenous folk culture of the whole Pakistan, she said the museum also projects cultures of other friendly and brotherly countries that share similarities and influences with the culture of Pakistan, Iran included.

The Iranian link passage was created at the time of the inception of the museum, which has now been redesigned, improved and renovated by the Iranian Cultural Consulate in collaboration with Lok Virsa.”

Cultural Counsellor of the Iran Embassy Shahaboddin Daraei said art pieces by famous Iranian artists were put on display in the gallery. “They tell us about the pre-revolution period and the culture of today’s Iran,” he said, sure that the gallery would go a long way in the progress and development of Lok Virsa.

Zara Khaliq, a visitor in the Iranian gallery, observed that such lovely gatherings and events give one immense understanding and knowledge about culture and art.

“We as society know little about art and culture and don’t give them the value and importance that they deserve so I would suggest that a lot more such events shall be held on regular basis,” she told Dawn.

Published in Dawn December 3rd, 2016