Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute launches Sepharad exhibition in Amsterdam

Sepharad - Traces of a Multicultural Heritage brings together 60 works by 33 Turkish Sephardic artists in Amsterdam

Salih Seref   | 12.11.2021
Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute launches Sepharad exhibition in Amsterdam


Works by Sephardic Jewish artists from Turkey were displayed on Friday at an exhibition by Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) in Amsterdam.

The exhibition, titled Sepharad - Traces of a Multicultural Heritage, brings 33 Turkish Sephardic artists together at the YEE's Turkish culture center with 60 pieces of artwork, including paintings, glass art, sculptures, mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, and photography. It is slated to remain open untill the end of the month.

Speaking at the event, Seref Ates, head of the YEE, said that the institute had extended the exhibition for two more weeks due to the great interest.

"It's a nice exhibition showing how cultures from our history lived by supporting each other," Ates said.

"Today, we talked about the stories behind these works," he said, adding that such exhibitions served to show "the contribution to humanity" made by nations that sustain and support each other, looking back from an age in which "migration is talked about as a problem."

Ates also said the exhibition would be opened in Spain next year.

Turkey's ambassador at the Hague, Saban Disli, congratulated the exhibition's contributors and added that the event was rooted in Anatolia's culture of tolerance.

The curator of the exhibition is the Istanbul-born artist Terry Katalan. Noting that Sephardic Jews have lived together with Turkish society for over 500 years, Katalan said: "The exhibition shows the integration of Sephardic people in Turkey with Turkish culture."

"I'm proud of this event for all Sephardic artists and myself," she added. "By bringing art-lovers in Amsterdam together with works rooted in the rich cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire and Sephardic culture, we wanted to show that different groups can live in brotherhood."

For his part, Abdullah Akin Altay, head of YEE Amsterdam, said they started the project by contacting Katalan about two years ago.

Nisya Isman Allovi, the director of the Quincentennial Foundation Museum, said they were very pleased to be a part of the exhibition and that the museum collection included some works by Sephardic artists.

Award-winning veteran photographer Izzet Keribar, who won Turkey's Presidential Culture and Arts Prize in 2018, said he was proud to represent Turkey in the exhibition. He participated in the exhibition with two photographs of Ottoman architecture.

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