1001 Inventions: Manchester Success Story Travels to Istanbul and Beyond

An exhibition, managed, designed and created in Manchester - 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World – is about to set sail once more on a global voyage.

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Figure 1: On the 16th of March 2010, the "1001 Inventions" exhibition was honoured to receive a delegation led by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was accompanied by First Lady Mrs. Erdogan, Turkish state ministers Cemil Cicek, Zafer Caglayan, Egemen Bagis and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Prime Minister, the First Lady, and Professor Salim Al-Hassani, at the entrance to the "1001 Inventions" gallery in the Science Museum.

An exhibition, managed, designed and created in Manchester - 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World – is about to set sail once more on a global voyage. The exhibition which started in Manchester, and has been residing at the Science Museum in London for the past four months will now move on to Istanbul and then New York.

The exhibition has been a "blockbuster success" with over 300,000 visitors already and has received sustained positive media attention from across the world.

Sponsored by the Jameel Foundation, the exhibition highlights the scientific heritage the world has inherited from Muslim civilisation. It traces the forgotten story of a thousand years of science which originated in the Muslim world golden ages. The exhibition looks at the social, scientific and technical achievements that are credited to the Muslim world, whilst celebrating the shared scientific heritage of other cultures. It features a diverse range of exhibits, interactive displays and dramatisation, all of which acknowledge the Muslim world's contribution to many modern inventions, including engineering, medicine and architecture.

The exhibition has caught the imagination partly because of the stories that it tells and partly because of the quality of the exhibits. One of the iconic focal features of this exhibition is a five-metre high replica of the ‘Elephant Clock'- a visually striking early 13th century water clock, the body of which contains symbols referring different cultures and is featured alongside a short feature film starring Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari, inventor of the fabled clock.

Figure 2: Global Launch of "1001 Inventions" Exhibition at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday 25th May 2010. Left to right: Professor Salim Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC and 1001 Inventions) and Lord William Waldegrave (Chairman of the Science Museum, London) hand over a model of Al-Jazari's 12th-century Scribe Clock to Minister Kerem Kiratli of the Turkish Republic, as a symbolic handover of the 1001 Inventions exhibition from London to the City of Istanbul.

The 1001 Inventions exhibition has been created and managed by the Manchester based Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation which has its offices in the Northern quarter. The Foundation is chaired by Prof. Salim Al- Hassani who is an emeritus professor of the University of Manchester. Other Manchester based trustees are Peter Fell, Ian Fenn, Muhammad Hafiz and Peter Raymond.

A copy of the short film, 1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets, which is shown at the exhibition and stars Sir Ben Kingsley on, can be viewed at http://www.1001inventions.com/media/video/library. It has been downloaded by over two million people worldwide – a quite extraordinary achievement. The film has already won numerous industry awards at the International Visual Communications Association award ceremony and the New York, Los Angeles and Hamburg Film Festivals.

During the London residency the exhibition hosted a number of senior visitors including, the Turkish Prime Minister and his senior cabinet members. US Embassy representatives, HRH Prince Hasan of Jordan, HE Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Sec. Gen, of the Organization of Islamic Conference, H.E. Khalid Al Duwaisan GCVO the Dean of the Arab Ambassadors held a reception attended by almost all the Arab Ambassadors on 24 June 2010. The exhibition was also visited by many of the most prominent political, religious and business leaders from the Muslim world.

The exhibition now transfers to Istanbul (opening in August) as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations. A specially constructed marquee will house the exhibition on a site adjacent to the iconic Aya Sofia Mosque and Blue Mosque. The exhibition will be opened formally by the Turkish Prime Minister. The exhibition will then travel to the Hall of Science in New York, (November) and then on to other iconic venues in the US.

Peter Fell, Director of Regional and Economic Affairs for The University of Manchester, said: "The exhibition has been a huge success and will continue to inspire and educate as it tours the globe. We would like to thank Manchester City Council, the NWDA, MOSI and the University of Manchester who supported the first version of the exhibition which opened in Manchester and toured the UK very successfully in 2006. Without this support we could not have achieved our current success with the "international version" of the exhibition."

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: "I am delighted that this cultural exhibition with Manchester roots and NWDA support has had such celebrated success."

Read also

[Northwest Regional Development Agency], 1001 Inventions - Manchester success story travels to Istanbul and beyond 22 July 2010 (read in PDF).
International Launch of 1001 Inventions Touring Exhibition (6 July 2010).
Turkish PM Visited 1001 Inventions Exhibition (19 March 2010).

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