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Excerpts from Dante’s Divine Comedy cover walls of local gallery

By Muath Freij - Feb 06,2018 - Last updated at Feb 06,2018

An exhibition showcasing calligraphic and graphic transcriptions of the 21th verses of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was opened at Gallery 14 on Monday (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMAN — An exhibition showcasing calligraphic and graphic transcriptions of the 21th verses of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was opened in Amman on Monday. 

Titled “Writing the Divine Comedy”, the show is part of a tour organised by the Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo across the Middle East, according to the Institute’s director Paolo Sabbatini. 

“I think the heritage of calligraphy is very important because it is a common art which unites all the Mediterranean populations at least the Italian European calligraphy and the Arabic one. I wanted to add another dimension with the Chinese calligraphy because I lived in China for 12 years and I know the value of calligraphy in the Chinese tradition,” Sabbatini, who is also the curator of the exhibition, told The Jordan Times at the opening.

The Institute official said he used Alighieri's work because he is one of the most important poets in Italy and the world and is linked with the Arab poet Ibn Araby. 

Citing the literary importance of Dante Alighieri’s the Divine Comedy, organisers said their project aims to serve as a bridge between various cultures and is an endeavour to rediscover the long narrative poem's aesthetics and insights. 

“Around 20 artists from China, Italy, and other countries handwrote the translation of the Divine Comedy into their native languages,” Sabbatini said, stressing the huge amount of efforts exerted to bring these works together. 

Western calligraphy was used for religious purposes “such as copying the Bible” while Arabic calligraphy was used on the walls and ceilings of mosques across the Islamic world, according to the organisers.  

 

The exhibition at Gallery 14 in Jabal Amman neigbourhhod, organised by the Italian embassy in Amman, will run through February 17. 

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