East End library looks East to Ottoman Culture with two-day show

THE 17th-century Ottoman Turkish Empire meets 18th-century Europe in an upstairs East End library room. An exhibition opens tomorrow (Friday) at Bethnal Green which combines sculpture, art, music, film and writings showing the relationship between the Is

THE 17th-century Ottoman Turkish Empire meets 18th-century Europe in an upstairs East End library room.

An exhibition opens tomorrow (Friday) at Bethnal Green which combines sculpture, art, music, film and writings showing the relationship between the Islamic world and Europe. It will then become a 21st-century virtual reality.

Photos of the room will be sewn together on the website to create a 3D room. The idea is to then explore online as if you were walking through the Bethnal Green exhibit-even if you are anywhere around the world.

Exhibition organiser Raheel Mohammed explained: "You could be looking at this panel, then click and zoom in on this man's face."


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The exhibition centres on Evliya Celebi, a Muslim, soldier, musician and story-teller who in the 1600s travelled the Ottoman Empire.

Part of the exhibit includes digital images of sculptures by East London artist Adam Williamson and a film by Hackney's Suki Chan. There are also art pieces from Khalili, the largest private collection of Islamic art, and music from the Royal Academy of Music.

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The exhibition continues until Saturday, daily from 10am-5pm at Bethnal Green Library in Bethnal Green Gardens on Cambridge Heath Road.

If you miss it, the virtual version launches on June 1 at www.thebookoftravels.org.

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