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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Exceptional embroidered sitarah made for tomb of the Prophet Muhammad now on display

30 April 2012

An exceptional embroidered sitarah (curtain) made for the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina is now on permanent display at the Ashmolean’s Gallery of Islamic Middle East.

The sitarah was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Selim III in AH 1206/AD 1791-1792, following a centuries-old tradition maintained by the Ottomans after they gained control of the Hijaz and the Haramayn (holy sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina) from the Mamluks in 1517.  Similar textiles were made and presented yearly during the processions associated with the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The curtain was generously donated by Dr. Nasser D. Khalili, a dedicated collector and passionate scholar of Islamic art whose collection is among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

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