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The Art of Persia on BBC TV

June 25, 2020

BBC Art of Persia

Many UK readers of this blog will already know that BBC television is currently broadcasting a four part [correction – only three parts] series entitled the Art of Persia.  This series, presented by Samira Ahmed on BBC Four, is as much concerned with the long history and cultural heritage of present day Iran as with its art narrowly defined, and the BBC team was given wide access to historical sites in Iran.  There is much to be learned from the programme about how the Persian nation and culture have survived over the two and a half millennia of their existence, and we have been delighted to find that the programme is devoting time to Persian literature as well as the more decorative arts.  So far, in the second episode, there have been sections relating to Ferdousi and to Omar Khayyam.  The latter is centred visually on Khayyam’s tomb in Nishapur, and includes the recital of verses in Farsi and English.  We were amused to see that the presenter refers to a copy of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat from 1947, illustrated by R S Sherriffs, rather than one of the more famous editions illustrated by, for example, Dulac or Pogany, or one with Persian miniatures.

The episodes of the programme are available for the next year on BBC i-player  Maybe they will turn up on YouTube in due course, as has happened with other BBC programmes on Persia.  The section dealing specifically with Omar Khayyam starts around 45 minutes into the second episode.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    June 27, 2020 8:00 am

    The Rainbow or Ruba’iya’t of Omar Khayya’m shines anew revealing the Grace Waves of Eternity… of…” Paradise eNOW”

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