Far away and long ago

For all the years I’ve been coming to Warsaw, I’ve been drawn to the Faras Gallery at the National Museum, but visit after visit it has been under construction or closed. On Saturday afternoon I finally pass though the impressive doors into the centuries between the 7th and the 14th; a cathedral in the desert sands of Nubia; and the results of the pioneering archaeological work of  Professor Kazimierz Michałowski and his team.

I’m greeted by a model of the excavated cathedral and a video that announces you can only see what you are about to see in Khartoum – and Warsaw. All the items on display were saved from the flooding of the Aswan Dam.

As I enter the first gallery I gasp with pleasure at the replicated arches and the line of paintings, often incomplete but completely satisfying, all created with tempera on mud plaster and preserved, many for more than a thousand years, in the desert heat. There is one niche with a facsimile and a note that the real item is on loan to the Louvre.









In the second room, obituaries, lintels, door posts, doorknockers and capitals are mainly sandstone. Designs include crosses, but also cobras and lotus.



If you’re interested in the details of the excavation and its history, have a look here. This collage gives you a taste of what you’ll see, as the paintings are uncovered, conserved on site, removed and transported.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in archaeology, art, photos, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Far away and long ago

  1. Suzanne says:

    You certainly are finding some interesting museums to visit. You must feel steeped in history. 🙂

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  2. Sue says:

    The Renaissance in Northern Italy, Meg?

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  3. viveka says:

    Again, Meg …. a magnificent post. And the magical image, you work your camera or mobile hard.
    I can see there is a lot more to Warsaw than pre-war, war and after war. I love the way you do your galleries … Excellent job and thanks for taking me “back to the future” *smile

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    • Back to camera: phone only occasionally. And you work Oscar equally hard! I’m glad you like my galleries. I often wonder if they’re excessive, or too static. Slideshow is too complicated from the WordPress app, if I’m interspersing words. I’m a bit surprised by the quality of these photos – not too much light interference.

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      • viveka says:

        It’s very difficult to make some things justice with a camera. It’s really a great responsibility we take on *smile
        Meg, just carry on with your terrific work in words and images.

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  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I love museums, we have one superb one in Exeter, but Warsaw has a bounty. Some of these images remind me of the ones in the rock hewn churches in Goreme Cappadochia.

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    • What’s in the Exeter museum? Warsaw does have a lot of museums, but they represent a diverse and diversely dramatic history. Each episode tends to have a museum. The twins went to the army museum yesterday: then there’s Copernicus, Katyń, neon, independence, Mickiewicz … and so it goes on! Warsaw is after all the capital of a proud nation! My favourite specialist museum is the beekeeping one in Slovenia.

      I had to look up Goreme in google images. Yes they are similar. Is Cappadocia very dry too? The colour said seem richer.

      Liked by 1 person

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