World News America

Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:39 UK

BBC World News America has been behind the scenes at the Smithsonian, just days before the opening of its newest exhibition Falnama: The Book of Omens.

The Falnama manuscripts were created in Iran and Turkey during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the Islamic calendar, the year 1000 was looming on the horizon and sultans, shahs and common people used these manuscripts to explore the unknown.

Curator Massumeh Farhad introduces the Falnama and explains their relevance

The exhibition opens its doors on October 24 at the Sackler Gallery in Washington DC and is the first ever devoted to these illustrated texts, notable for their scale and bold compositions.

BBC World News America followed the curator, conservators and designers in their final days before the opening.

Works from the Topkapi Palace Library in Istanbul, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, the Louvre Museum in Paris and private collections from around the world feature in the exhibition.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific