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Following a fire, the Friday Mosque has reopened

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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After a temporary closure due to a fire, Male’ City’s historic Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque) has reopened. The fire started around 9:00 p.m. on October 28 when an electrical short circuit caused a fan to catch fire.

The mosque had been closed since the fire on October 28, according to the Heritage Ministry, but electrical safety has now been secured, and the Friday Mosque has been available to the public since last night’s fajr prayer.

The Friday Mosque was last closed for renovation on September 13, 2019. The mosque reopened on October 1, 2019.

The Friday Mosque in Male’ city was built in 1656 by the king Al Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar. The minaret of the Friday Mosque was built in 1675. Until the opening of the Islamic Centre in 1984, the Friday Mosque was the largest mosque in the Maldives. The mosque has been included in a temporary list of World Heritage sites.

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Ottoman opulence on display at Istanbul’s glass museum

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The Beykoz Crystal and Glass Museum, transformed from a barn of a historic Ottoman-era mansion, now hosts 1,500 artifacts of the Seljuk and Ottoman eras between the 13th and 19th centuries.

A magnificent dining table embellished with unique examples of fine glass art from several European manufacturers, reflecting the power of the Ottoman sultans, is on display at a glass museum in Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul.

The pieces made of the French Baccarat and Czech Bohemian crystals, combined with gold and silver, were set on a table to revive a banquet given in honor of foreign visitors at the 19th-century Ottoman palaces.

“Here, we created a replica of a palace table during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz,” Osman Celaleddin Urhan, head of the Asian side department of the Directorate of National Palaces, told Xinhua at the Beykoz Crystal and Glass Museum.

“The sultan’s banquet table exactly looked the same,” Urhan stressed.

Exhibits displayed in the Beykoz Crystal and Glass Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua)

The museum hosts 1,500 artifacts of the Seljuk and Ottoman eras between the 13th and 19th century. The venue has been transformed from a barn of a historic Ottoman-era mansion on the Asian side of the Beykoz district and inaugurated recently after three-year restoration.

“All sorts of glass items, including demijohns, crystal dishes, plates, glasses, coffee cups, ice cream bowls, and sauce boats, used in the Ottoman palace kitchens are on display at the museum,” Urhan pointed out.

Some personal items used by the sultans, such as perfume bottles and other objects made of Venetian Murano glass, are also on exhibit.

A visitor looks at exhibits in the Beykoz Crystal and Glass Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua)

A 13th-century glass plate attributed to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhusrev II is among the most ancient pieces of the museum.

Historians consider the plate unearthed during the excavation works in the Anatolian province of Konya in 1966 as a priceless example of the Seljuk glass art.

The honey-colored plate holds an inscription wishing for the sultan health and well-being in its center, while around the outer edge, there is an undulating border with floral motifs.

This piece is also significant in revealing the initial samples of the glass art of Turks as they first met with the material during the Seljuk period, according to a museum press release.

Various gorgeous oil lamps of all sizes presented to Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty after his numerous conquests, are among the most valuable objects of the museum, Urhan noted.

Meanwhile, a carriage used by an Ottoman sultan is a big attraction for visitors.

Osman Celaleddin Urhan, head of the Asian side department of the Directorate of National Palaces, speaks with a reporter in the Beykoz Crystal and Glass Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua)

“This carriage used by Sultan Mahmud II is one of the rarest artifacts of the museum, as it possesses abundant glass objects,” Urhan noted.

“The Ottoman sultans liked to display their power. They placed orders for the custom production of numerous glass objects to the world’s leading manufacturers, to show off their brilliance and their prestige,” an official of the Directorate of National Palaces told Xinhua.

“That is why these manufacturers produced for the sultans without compromising the art of exaggeration,” she said, referring to the extravagant decorations on the exhibits.

ISTANBUL, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) 

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Human skull fossil dating back 32,000 years discovered in China’s Henan

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A human skull fossil dating back 32,000 years was found in a cave site in central China’s Henan Province, local archaeological authorities said Monday.

The cave site is located in Guanyinsi Township, Lushan County. Earlier paleolithic archaeological research in the area has uncovered human fossils, animal fossils, and stone tools.

“There are two caves in the site, with one standing 9 meters in length, 3 meters in width, and 3.9 meters in height, covering an area of 30 square meters,” said Zhao Qingpo, an archaeologist, adding that the cave is much larger than previous caves discovered in the region.

Apart from teeth and skull fossils, archaeologists also found more than 10,000 bone fragments of horses, goats, bears, deer, boars, and wolves, which are about 30,000 to 40,000 years old.

Stone implements including stone chips and scrapers were also unearthed from the site.

Anthropologists said that two human skull fossils found in the cave site were identified as being 32,000 and 12,000 years old respectively through the uranium-series dating method. The former artifact is the earliest known fossil of early modern humans in the province.

“The new findings are of great significance for the study of the origin and development of modern humans in China,” said Liu Haiwang, president of the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology.

 

ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 28 (Xinhua)

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An exhibition hall was created at a historical site to commemorate China’s anti-Japanese war

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The Beidaying military camp, a historical landmark in Shenyang, northeastern China, is being renovated. It is scheduled to reopen to the public as an exhibition hall to commemorate the traumatic history of the war against Japanese aggression.

On September 18, 1931, Japanese troops blew up a section of the railway near Shenyang and blamed the Chinese military. Using the explosion as an excuse, the Japanese attacked the Beidaying military base, where the Chinese army was stationed, as well as the city of Shenyang. The strike, known as the September 18th Incident, signals the start of Japan’s invasion of China. The relics of the Beidaying military camp were unearthed for the first time in 2010.

The local government launched a renovation project in 2018 to reconstruct it into a historical display hall. The hall, which will cover an area of more than 11,000 square meters, will house around 1,400 artifacts. As a reminder of the sad history, it is also intended to virtually recreate historical scenes using various multimedia approaches.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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