Photographer Hans Berger wishes to take “Insight” to Iraq 

November 3, 2017

TEHRAN – German photographer Hans Georg Berger who is displaying “Insight”, his collection of photos on Islamic seminaries in Iran, in an exhibit in Tehran, has spoken of his wish to showcase the collection in Iraq, which is home to some major Shia Islamic schools.

Speaking at an opening ceremony for the exhibit at Tehran’s Golestan Palace Museum on Wednesday, he said, “Plans are for the collection to be exhibited in Isfahan in the near future and it will then travel to Frankfurt for a show scheduled for January 2018.”

“I also wish it could be put on display in an exhibition in Karbala,” he added.

Berger took the photos 50 years ago in some Islamic schools in Qom, Mashhad and Isfahan. He also visited the seminaries during two trips to the country in 2000 and 2005.

He called the Shia educational schools intellectual centers and said, “We and those in the West know little about the centers.”

“In my trips to Iran, I tried to learn more about the seminaries, because I believe that we know little about Iranian elites and they also know little about us.”

Works by two Iranian photographers from the Qajar period, Reza Eqbal us-Saltaneh and Abolqasem ibn Mohammad-Taqi Nuri, of the Shia holy shrines in Iraq were also showcased at the exhibition, which was inaugurated by German Ambassador Michael Klor-Berchtold.

In a brief speech, Klor-Berchtold said that the exhibit raises the subject of mutual respect between Berger and the people pictured in the photos.   

The photos by official court photographers Eqbal us-Saltaneh and Nuri date back to the 19th century and early 20th century when they accompanied Qajar kings Nasser ad-Din Shah (1821-1900) and Mozaffar ad-Din Shah (1853-1907) during their journeys to the Shia holy shrines in the Iraqi cities of Najaf, Karbala and Samarra.

The exhibition will run until November 15 at the palace museum in downtown Tehran.

Photo: German Ambassador Michael Klor-Berchtold (C) cuts the ribbon to open an exhibition of his fellow photographer Hans Georg Berger (L) at Tehran’s Golestan Palace Museum on November 2, 2017. (ISNA)

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