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Dorure motif investing

· 26.02.2022

dorure motif investing

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How to pay the best price for an original artwork? How to navigate through the large number of collections available? What is Artmajeur? Buying artworks on the theme of "motif papier peint": Buy art you love risk-free on Artmajeur! View less. Digital Arts. Textile Art. Conceptual Art. Land Art. Naive Art. Oriental Art. Outsider Art. Pop Art. Spiritual Art. Street Art.

Tribal Art. Everyday Life. Dark Fantasy. Science fiction. Pop Culture. Video Game. Martial Art. Still life. World Culture. Display only artworks in promotion. Under RUB. More than RUB. Artist location. Sale options. Art Prints. For Sale. Available licences. Where do we go from here? This di ssertation of fers a cas e s tudy i n an approach to the cha llenges and opportunities of e xploring polychromy in ancient Near E astern architecture and architectural s culpture.

It focuses on the s ite of P ersepolis i n southwestern Iran—a ceremonial and administrative center in the very heart of the Achaemenid Persian Empire between and BCE Figures 1. Monumental bui lding on t he palatial com plex at Persepolis — the Takht-e Jamshid — began with the reign of Darius I the Great in c. Although it has been known for a long time that Achaemenid Persian architectural sculpture was painted, as was ancient Near Eastern sculpture in general, my dissertation aims to provide m aterial w ith w hich t o vi ew practices of pol ychromy at these two specific, fairly w ell-preserved sites within the a ncient N ear E astern c ultural a rena in a more systematic and or ganized way.

It is a first step and attempt to promote an archaeology of paint at Persepolis, that would ultimately allow us to unde rstand aspects o f pa inting a nd gilding on Achaemenid Persian s culpture and architecture. This r esearch can be c ontextualized within the f ramework of t he ex tenstive research conducted over the last decades on the ideology of this empire.

Scholarship by Root and others has used the program of Achaemenid palatial structures, as well as t he r oyal t extual r hetoric, as a m ajor hi storical s ource t hat ha d efficacy as a t ool shaping a nd reinforcing t he i mperial pr oject i tself.

A dditionally, P ersepolis i s now understood be tter and be tter a s a social place, not le ast owing t o ongoing w ork on t he texts of the P ersepolis F ortification archive tablets and the s eals t hat ratified these imperial di sbursement r ecords i n t he reign of Darius I e.

Among the many aspects revealed by the archives excavated on the Takht is the clear evi dence of w ork crews f rom ar ound the em pire and not l east f rom E gypt that contributed significantly to the te chnical b ackground tha t ul timately inf ormed the implementation of i mperial de signs. T hus, a s tudy of issues a nd a pproaches t o polychromy i n Persepolis and S usa engages us i n a n i nterconnected world of l abor traditions that inform the case at hand and also work to increase our understanding of the practices of other ancient imperial settings.

T hus, approaching t he polychromy in the Achaemenid Persian Empire can bring us full circle from documentary projects on the actual material remains to issues of modern and ancient reception. I also aim to provide a call f or consideration of w ays w e m ay m ove f orward t o e xpand upon e vidence. For ultimately new types of investigation demand collaborative programming of the goals and methods of hum anists, s ocial s cientists, a nd conservation scientists—of fi eld archaeologists, a nthropologists a nd a rt hi storians, t ext-based hi storians, m useum-based professionals, and cultural heritage specialists.

Originally, the s tone elements of t he architecture were also embellished with bright colors as well a s w ith g ilding a nd applied ornamentation. Additionally, painted wood, stucco and clay were used abundantly in both sites.

But such material has be en poorly pr eserved. V estiges of t he pa lettes of t heir d ecorations a nd of the pigments that produced them are rare. These features of color were apprehended from a distance and they were a c onsiderable e lement of t he i conography of t he bui lt e nvironment at closer r ange as well. As a re sult o f a ging, weathering, the r avages of war and site-pilfering ove r t he centuries, and of dubi ous m ethods of s ite documentation i n t he past, most of t he added color i s no l onger visible, originally attached metal and precious s tone a pplications a re lost, and gilding is preserved in only tiny traces.

The time is ripe for this effort to continue and move forward with comprehensive investigations of Achaemenid P ersian pol ychromy. Similarly, and particularly for Persepolis, important projects undertaken at t he s ite i n t he s t o a nalyze t he bui lding pr otocols and pr oduction techniques of the architecture and sculpture of the site e.

It com es almost as a surprise that the polychromy of the Achaemenid environment has never been studied in relation to its impa ct on the ic onography o f the s ites—be t his an impact b y virtue of an intended strategy for conveying ideological message or an impact born of the range of diverse r eceptivities to t he appa rition of t his pol ychromy br ought b y visitors from near a nd far.

Furthermore, t he pol ychromy has not yet b een integrated into an understanding of its place in discourse about production. This di ssertation is a s tarting poi nt. I c ollate, evaluate, and integrate e mpirical information gleaned from preliminary data from several seasons of work on-site between and , as well as from a variety of other sources. I deal with how we may best in my view think about the nature of the empirical data, hoping to clarify some ongoing issues that vex the study of polychromy and continue to cause problems in the effective exchange of i deas be tween humanists and conservation scientists in this a rena.

And I discuss what all this means for any future-directed understanding of the appearance and agency of c olor a nd polychromy i n the Achaemenid environment. I strive to open up a dialogue, making thi s di ssertation a ve ry modest be ginning t o a w ide r ange o f future studies. I call attention to a few aspects that might shed new light upon some unanswered questions in archaeological theory concerning polychromy by introducing and discussing observations m ade on t he s ites of P ersepolis and S usa, on objects from the s ites in modern museum c ollections, a nd, m ost i mportant, on t he m odern pe rception and reception of the pol ychromy of A chaemenid P ersia.

I of fer a s eries of thematic explorations on the issue of color. With the constituents and materials that colors consist of as m aterial discourse i n t he c enter, w e c an a ddress i ssues of t he a vailability of r aw materials, aspects of p igment a pplication and s urface t reatments, of the aesthetic functions of polychromy, focus on the relationship between the significance of color and the Achaemenid courtly environment.

I hope to show that the polychromatic aspect of these sites is fundamental to any understanding of their overall app earance and meaning. The case study demonstrates, I hope, that investigations of polychromy are crucial in shaping broadly scientific narratives in material culture studies.

Organization and Outline of the Dissertation In C hapter 2 I w ill l ay out a t heoretical f ramework b y pr oviding a de finition of w hat polychromy is about. The aim of this chapter will be to show the reader the complexities involved w hen applying modern Western terminology ont o t he a ncient Near E astern environment.

These come from attempting to interweave modern notions of polychromy to the the ancient Near Eastern environment. I review the history of polychromy studies and de al w ith t he be ginnings of t he m odern r eception of ancient Near E astern, particularly Neo-Assyrian polychromy, b y i nvestigating how t he c olors of t he a ncient Near East have been encountered by excavators and museum curators, and how they have been a ppreciated a nd d isplayed i n m odern m useums since the ni neteenth c entury.

Reviewing the history of the reception of polychromy allows me to show that each generation favored its own polychrome version of the ancient Near East. In Chapters 3 and 4 the Achaemenid Persian Empire takes the stage. I review the specific s ituation and historiography of t he d etection of pi gments a ttached t o t he monuments of Persepolis a nd S usa and f ocus on s everal que stions: How di d early travelers and archaeologists encounter, detect, and doc ument the polychrome environment of Achaemenid P ersia?

These chapters dr aw extensively on a very diverse set of primary sources — notebooks, letters, and archival documents left behind by those who excavated on the site. I also introduce some results of more recently conducted and ongoing scientific analysis of the polychromy of selected monuments in Persepolis. Important insights can be ga ined by f ocusing on t he hi story of excavation a nd conservation of monuments on t he Persepolis platform regarding the detection of colors, colored s ubstances, and painted m otifs, by r eviewing as th eir treatment b y the different scientific a nd pr actical w ork pa rties i nvolved i n doc umentation a nd pr eservation.

In Chapter 5, I address t he t horny i ssue of conservation a nd pr eservation o f t he or iginal paints on t he monuments. What was and what was not undertaken to preserve the paints on t he m onuments? I show how well-intended documentation s trategies of t he past two hundred years may have de stroyed i mportant e vidence f or ou r unde rstanding of t he polychromy of Persepolis and Susa. Chapter 6 brings us ba ck t o A chaemenid P ersia.

It contains a discussion of t he material la id out in C hapters 3 a nd 4 within a broader f ramework. I a rgue that the choi ce of col or s chemes, painted patterns, gilding, and ornaments was designed not only to enhance the surface of monuments but also to s erve additional functions, a mong them to evocate and resonate with m eanings of precious materials.

The concept of w hat I h ave come t o label as imperial polychromy, c an be s upported b y c omparative e vidence i n t he c hoice of c olor applications by governing elites in other pre-modern and more recent cultures.

It can also be unde rstood a gainst t he ba ckdrop o f pr e-Achaemenid c ultures i n t he r egional a nd contemporaneous cultures which shared craft traditions across the Persian Empire. In Chapter 7, I ar gue f or t he g reat pot ential f or ar chaeologists, hi storians, and conservation s pecialists to pur sue f urther a spects of t he p olychromy of A chaemenid Persia.

I c onclude w ith s ome g eneral r emarks and s uggestions f or di rections of f uture research. The t hree main goals of m y di ssertation are: 1 t o e xplore aspects of the polychromatic appe arance of s elected monuments f rom A chaemenid Persia; 2 t o help the reader to understand the limits we are faced with when restoring the polychromy of the pa laces altogether; and 3 t o s uggest f rameworks i n w hich c olor ha s pl ayed a prominent r ole on t he s ites.

I am f ully aw are that this di ssertation was w ritten for a n Interdepartmental P rogram i n C lassical A rt a nd Archaeology, not t o obt ain a de gree i n Conservation Studies. However, I aim for a multidisciplinary effort, using a combination of t he f ull pot ential of r ecent m ethods a nd a pproaches t o polychromy i n C lassical a nd Near Eastern Archaeology, Material Science, and Conservation Studies.

Exacations adapted from H. Exacations Chevalier Fig. I review the development of polychromy studies and deal specifically with the beginnings of the modern reception of ancient Near Eastern polychromy. I first inves tigate how t he c olors o f t he ancient N ear E ast, pa rticularly of Assyria, have been encountered by archaeologists and museum curators, and then explore how t he polychromy of these monuments ha s been di splayed and appreciated since t he nineteenth c entury.

W ithin t his f ramework, issues of com peting a esthetic de bates and movements, as well as aspects of influence from polychromy debates in relation to other ancient civilizations e. Egypt, Greece loom large. We have perceptions of urban environments cr eated in specific anc ient and modern cultures i n mind: we as sociate t he modern dom estic a rchitecture on t he C ycladic i slands i n G reece w ith c lear w hite, bl ue, and r ather pl ain c olor schemes, as w e associate m odern Rome w ith its t erracotta and claret-brownish c olors, t hough t hey were r emarkably different i n e arlier pe riods e.

A critical survey of almost two hundred years of reception allows us to appreciate the often emotionally-charged discourse on t he topic and to gain some understanding of the tensions and controversies that have plagued the field. In my historiographical review, questions of a uthenticity, pr eservation, c onservation, a nd di splay including t he controversial pr actices of cas t-making and cast-coloring for m useum pr esentations feature prominently.

In m y vi ew, t hese factors played a c rucial role i n bot h the development a nd t he s ubsequent s tagnation of pol ychromy s tudies i n t he a ncient N ear Eastern sphere. I a m a ware t hat d ifferent limestones were used on the site of Persepolis. I am also aware that many museum visitors might have in fact t he i mpression that P ersepolis was mainly b uilt from a r ather d ark l imestone. T he limestone used i n Persepolis comes from various local quarries that yielded various shades of this stone Tilia 76; Zare The dark color that one sees on many Persepolis fragments in museums today, however, is in fact a rather modern phenomenon.

Most of the Persepolitan stone sculptures in the major Western collections and in the T ehran and Persepolis museums have b een heavily treated an d polished. This and closely related issues will b e d iscussed f urther p artly i n C hapter 5 an d p artly i n C hapter 6. It is important to precisely define what we are talking about and to set this issue of definition into its own historiographic context. It i s found onl y a f ew t imes i n texts f rom classical a ntiquity e.

The d iscussion on t he color blindness o f t he a ncient G reeks b y W. G ladstone i n the ni neteenth c entury i s a p erfect e xample o f misinterpretations of an ancient culture based on textual sources and word usage alone: Bellmer Middleton According to Zanten 83 the term was not referred to in French dictionaries until , although it was a common term amongst academics, and was used along with other words like parti-colored.

The focus of this scholarship has been on the ancient Mediterranean and more seldom on Egypt. These m edia i nclude m ulti-colored d yed a nd m ulti-colored woven textiles as w ell as painted wooden beams and wall paintings, glazed brick reliefs and tiles, architectural and sculptural de tails ma de of ma terials e. In m odern s cholarly di scourse, t he t erm polychromy has, how ever, be en us ed inconsistently and has generated great debate.

Although we a re t old of num erous ancient t reatises on sculpture and artistic practices in classical texts none are preserved for the Achaemenid sphere , t hese are not e xtant, m aking i t i mpossible t o s tate w hether t he w ord and t he related concept would have appeared more than we can currently state.

In t his l ast phr ase, h e r easserts hi s i nclusive definition of polychromy by defining a s pecial category of pol ychrome sculpture within that large open category. It is the refore crucial to explore the competing ideas in scholarship as to what qualifies as polychromy in the study of ancient art. Previous scholars ha ve, how ever, c omplicated issues of definition r egarding t he issue of wall painting and its impa ct on the di scussion.

N unn, w ho w rote a l andmark m onograph on wall pa intings a nd glazed wall decorations i n t he ancient N ear E ast pr ovides n o c lear de finition of pol ychromy. S he does, how ever, i nclude a s hort chapter on a ncient N ear E astern p ainted relief sculpture and sculpture in the round In c ontrast, S eidl s eems t o i ncorporate w all painting a nd ot her m odes of pol ychromatic a rchitectural de coration unde r t he r ubric of polychromy.

There is no firm reason to believe t hat t he t ools of applying p aints ont o w alls a nd s tone r eliefs w ere di fferent. M oorey f urther r emarks that the palette of colors is identical between relief sculpture and mural arts It is well known that wall paintings appeared directly above the painted reliefs in the very same N eo-Assyrian p alace i nteriors Rassam 18 28; Loud 67; Albenda ; Guralnick W all p aintings a nd pa inted reliefs m ust be c onsidered as part of one production process that took place in these rooms see also Chapter 6.

The result was an integrated polychrome program. An i ndex of t he pr obable c omingling o f t hese m edia i n a ncient t hought i s f ound i n t he ambiguity of modern translations of a wording in a statement of King Assurnasirpal II c. In the original publication by Wiseman 30 and 36 the text was translated as follows: l. T his m onument, f ound i n Sidon i n , and dating to the late fourth century BCE, combines deeply carved relief sculpture, that preserves remnants of a lavish polychromy with motifs painted on the interiors of the shields of the sculpted Persian warriors in the manner of miniature murals Graeve ; Brinkmann Figs.

It is of great interest that the motifs painted on these shield interiors are directly inspired by Achaemenid monumental sculpture known to us from P ersepolis. W e also not e t hat i n P ersepolis paint was us ed t o create patterns and detail motifs on certain architectural reliefs which in other instances were rendered in carved form see below, Chapter 4.

Naster The cl ose conn ection between polychromatic m urals and architectural r eliefs is well attested through evidence from Persepolis and Susa together. The discoveries in the s at Susa revealed remains of full scale mural paintings Labrousse and Boucharlat ; Boucharlat Figs.

T he m otif of s ervant-figures carrying vessels and containers up staircases is a prominent ex ample of t his in all three modes. There was no ne cessary distinction between what motifs and scales of production were appropriate for polychromy renderings in mural work, glazed brick and glazed brick relief. In features of technical production as opposed to decorative concept , A.

T his observation r einforces the i mpression of the f luidity of craft int erconnectivity in the sphere of pol ychromatic vi sion, de sign, a nd i mplementation a t t he A chaemenid P ersian court. It he lps ope n t he door ul timately t o r econsideration of t he br oadest a nd m ost inclusive of definitions of polychromy. Terminology for relevant craft techniques used at the Achaemenid Persian court is ambiguous, f luid, and ha rdly restrictive.

The word is rooted in the idea of likeness, not in the technique of sculpture per se. These texts refer to the r epresentational imagery on the two monuments which in both cases h appens t o be i n t he f orm of s culpted stone r ock r elief. Kent A later section of the same text DSf 3i, ll. T he s tone-cutters w ho w rought the stone were I onians a nd Sardian… trans. This passage suggests some differentiation of craft specialties relating to different t ypes of a dornment t hat w ould ha ve yielded t he pol ychromy of a rchitectural m onuments t hat we c an glean from ph ysical evi dence at t he s ites of Persepolis a nd S usa see be low, Chapters 4 a nd 6.

T his t ext i s, how ever, a n i mperial s tatement of po wer ove r, and integration of conquered lands rather than a treatise on a rtistic practice viz. Accordingly, it must be treated in those terms. Elamite administrative documents from Persepolis for context and background, see be low, C hapter 3 cast l ight on t his s ubject i n a g enre t hat i s not g overned b y ideologically-driven r hetoric.

This document is interesting in that it brings together these two crafts i n a c itation of what a ppears t o b e a single w ork pr oject. S everal E lamite administrative doc uments f rom the la rge P ersepolis F ortification tablet a rchive r efer to craftsmen. Some of these texts do categorize explicit distinctions between types of crafts engaged in the decoration of the palatial installations of Persepolis.

A plasterer? The evidence we have to date on these matters reinforces the general impression that the Achaemenid court considered the production of various forms of ornamentation as pa rt of a l arger w hole. D istinct s pecialties t hat c ontributed t o t he pol ychromy of t he whole s urely e xisted such a s i nlay work ve rsus r elief c arving ; but on t he l evel of payments and disbursements, a craftsman was a craftsman to a large degree see below, Chapter 6.

M any w ere e ngaged s imultaneously on a m ulti-media p resentation that included variety of techniques to produce lavish displays of polychromy. All of t his l eads m e t o propose t hat pol ychromy properly de fined s hould i ndeed refer to any decorative art involving the use of several colors cp. T he i deal ul timate g oal i n s tudying t he po lychromy of t he A chaemenid i mperial environment w ould b e t o i ncorporate an integrated analysis of t he entire s pectrum of color array from the many and varied manifestations I have suggested above.

Within the parameters of t his di ssertation I w ill, pe rforce, f ocus pr imarily on p ainted a nd g ilded royal m onuments of t he Achaemenid heartland c apitals of P ersepolis and S usa. But my restrictive focus i s not a s tatement o f a r estrictive de finition of pol ychromy. Instead, i t reflects the practicalities of one project that is preliminary to a m uch larger endeavor.

Constructing and Overcoming Chromophobia: Colors, Gilding, and Painted Motifs in Near Eastern Archaeology - Excavating, Publishing and Presenting Polychromy The history of the detection, subsequent perception, and aesthetic evaluation of the once colorful w alls and s culptures of t he a ncient N ear E ast, pa rticularly t hose of t he N eo- Assyrian palaces, over the last two c enturies is as complex as i t i s a fascinating tale o f competing i deas o f i nterpretation a nd publ ic presentation of pol ychromy.

E ducated people of t he ear ly nineteenth century read the cl assical aut hors and the H ebrew B ible. These sources left no doubt that the ancient Near East was a polychromatic environment: colorful columns and reliefs adorning the walls of the palaces in Babylon are mentioned in the B ible and classical t exts. It can be discussed whether his account is describing a Babylon of his own era or a Babylon of a past.

For t he n ineteenth cen tury r eception o f A chaemenid P ersian monuments in E urope, es pecially E ngland: e. II: In the same chamber, Place noted three unfinished sculptured stone slabs with chips of the same stone and pigment lumps scattered on the floor Place vol. I: ; vol. III pl. Caubet a nd Bouquillon 9 N os. We w ill return to a spects of painters workshops below in Chapter 6.

Museum curators were aware of the traces of paint discovered by the excavators. The first reliefs and sculptures reached Paris in December And these were t he w ords of Layard on t he c olors o bserved on t he m onuments of t he freshly excavated reliefs f rom the s eries of N eo-Assyrian palaces ex cavated by t he British Layard , vol. See also the r eference b y Reade 15 n. Tassels ditto. Botta and Layard w ere r ooted i n an e nvironment w here theoretical di scussions o f the ex tent and function of polychromy on Egyptian and Greek sculpture loomed large, and proving the very existence of polychromy itself seemed a considerable accomplishment.

J oining t he ong oing debate on t he polychromy of a ncient G reek a rchitecture and s culpture to the anc ient N ear E astern situation he notes: How difficult i t i s t o und erstand t hat t he G reeks, w ith a ll m onuments ha ving been bui lt w ith materials of t he finest qu ality, T he polychromy de bate was a lso r elevant for c ontemporary a rchitecture i n E urope, t oo e.

I t i s a pparent t hat n ineteenth c entury E uropean architects were i nspired by a nd s oon a dapted E gyptian pol ychromy i nto e xterior f acades, e. In , Franz-Christian Gau , a close friend of Jacob I gnaz H ittorf , one of t he most pr ominent de fenders of a ncient G reek s culptural polychromy, had e xhibited a s eries o f b rightly colored s tudies o f a ncient E gyptian facades a t t he P aris Salon Gau I t m ay be t hat o nly s ome pa rts of the bas-reliefs w ere painted, and that in order t o make them more visible, the walls were left untouched on big surfaces and only some items were colored.

However, I do not think so. The issue of conservation a nd pr eservation w as i ndeed a ve ry i mportant one , t o w hich I will r eturn below i n m ore de tail. Attempts to reconstruct the original colors of these palaces soon followed.

In his Nineveh and its Remains Layard published four chromolithographic plates, among them one imaginary reconstruction of an Assyrian interior, br ightly colored Layard , vol. His concept o f polychromy w as de veloped t ogether w ith t he a rchitects O wen J ones 19 and James F ergusson Both of t hese men f igured pr ominently i n di scourse on polychromy at this time.

Layard , vol. Significantly, the el aborate reconstruction we s ee i n Figure 2. I n retrospect, it is not clear what purpose this reconstruction may have served: To stimulate interest in polychromy? T o raise funds f or f uture excavations? This r econstruction, together w ith other pa inted r econstructions t hat soon followed after created an aura around these ruins that had been brought to Victorian London Bohrer , In , Fergusson stated that the new discoveries of Assyrian palaces The Persians, however, from the days of Nineveh to the present time, used colour most extensively; covering their mosques entirely with painted tiles, and relying more on colour than on form for the effect to be produced cited by Donaldson S hortly after t he a rrival of t he Assyrian r eliefs i n London, va rious pa rties m ade r equests f or casts.

S ome c ollectors requested colored casts f or di splay alongside t heir privately h eld fragments of Assyrian reliefs in order to show what the gray originals once looked like. In a recently published letter to Layard in May , for example, Henry Danby Seymour requested that a cast of a r elief f rom r oom I of the nor thwest pa lace o f N imrud be ma de s o that it mig ht be painted to replicate its presumed original colorful appearance.

In , Joseph Bonomi argued that besides the observed red, blue, and black it appeared that the co lours w ere m ore v aried, and that the w hole su rface of t he ba s r eliefs w as col oured with them. On the bricks there are other tints There is no reason why the Assyrians should have used these latter colours on their bricks, and not have employed them to paint their sculptures. It is much more natural to suppose that the portions not at present coloured were coloured formerly.

He was i n close contact with B otta a nd Coste Crinson The Bonomi p apers an d co rrespondence ar e h eld t oday at t he C ambridge U niversity Library, D epartment o f Manuscripts, and include communications with Layard and Fergusson. I plan to study this documentation in the near future. The question of polychromy in ancient Near Eastern palaces is addressed less explicitly by William Vaux — , A ssistant K eeper in th e D epartment o f A ntiquities i n th e B ritish M useum from 1 Here, it was argued that the architecture of the Greeks could not be understood without studying t heir p olychromy Donaldson i bid.

A n i mportant landmark i n t he intellectual reception of ancient polychromy, again only focused on the polychromy of ancient Greece and Rome is Semper a. She does not mention Bonomi. The situation is, however, much more complex than Nunn has suggested. Although Nunn is right that Layard advocated onl y partial decoration, this is true only of his scholarly writings.

His actions in terms of public presentation of the colors of ancient Near Eastern monuments indicate t hat h e w as c onflicted on t his i ssue and of fered an alternative ve rsion of t he monuments in a total polychromy of vibrant colors.

An important part of this campaign was their creation of a dramatic installation of c olored casts and r econstructions of N eo-Assyrian pa laces i n the C rystal P alace in Sydenham in south London. The C rystal P alace, which ope ned t o t he publ ic on June 10 , was a private initiative to show recent developments and progress in technology and production.

The Nineveh Court was an important phenomenon in the history of the reception of ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian polychromy in the nineteenth century Figures 2. The Nineveh Court was located next to the foot of two of the four famous statues of the Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel each measuring T he N ineveh C ourt hi ghlighted vibrantly colored casts of architectural reliefs from Nineveh, Nimrud, and Khorsabad set into a structure.

In this combination the exhibition lacked historical specificity, but such was obvi ously not t he aim. T he c olor s chemes a pplied t o t he c asts and the galleries displaying the monuments of the ancient Near East in the Nineveh Court were executed by a L ondon based company Leonard W.

C ollmann, r enowned i nterior de corator of of t he d isplays; after the c losing of t he Great Exhibition in 1 , Jones was involved in r e-erecting t he Crystal Palace at Sydenham, London. As a r esult o f c oloring the monuments i n t he G reek C ourt he was obliged t o pu blish a n Apology Jones 4 , i n which he was a ssisted b y hi s friend t he d istinguished philosopher George Henry Lewes O n the oriental displays see Bohrer ; P iggott See the interesting comment by H.

D elamotte, c. Figure 2. The bulls of the portal were deep dull red with black beards and hairs, their mitres blue and yellow Piggott L ayard, h as er ected t he co urt b efore which t he visitor n ow s tands -- an architectural illustration which, without pretending to be a literal copy of any one building, most certainly represents generally the architecture of the extinct but once mighty kingdoms of Mesopotamia, during the two centuries that elapsed between the reign of Sennacherib and that of Xerxes, viz, from about B.

The Nineveh Court was situated in the north-western angle of the Crystal P alace cp. Hrvol Flores -1 pl. It may appear strange and unnatural to us that color should be employed in all parts of such an edifice, and that even sculptures and bas reliefs in various materials have been painted. But that su ch was the ca se i n A ssyria, as indeed in Egypt and i n anc ient G reece, can now no longer admit of a doubt, and in restoring an Assyrian palace, it would have been absurd to omit so essential a feature of Assyrian architecture.

From the remains of gold leaf continually found in the ruins, i t would a ppear t hat gilding was pr ofusedly e mployed i n the Assyrian palaces. It i s even probable that many parts were overlaid with gold leaf … Care … has been taken to consult every authority upon t he s ubject. T he t races of c olor s till existing on t he m onuments di scovered a t Nineveh, especially upon t hose at Khorsabad, have been minutely examined, and have furnished sufficient data for the painting of most of the bas-reliefs and architectural details Layard : and T he s econd s torey of t he N ineveh C ourt was c omposed of a n elaborate b alcony reconstruction m eant t o s uggest t he s uperstructure of t he A ssyrian p alaces.

Ironically given t he s idelining of P ersia he re on i ts ow n t erms, t he c olumns of t his ba lcony are actual r eplications of t he c omplex A chaemenid c olumns f rom P ersepolis a nd S usa, complete w ith their g reat bul l pr otome c apitals. For the color schemes we can rely on contemporary watercolors by John Nash.

On these reproductions we witness the detailed and rich color schemes employed: The colossal Lamassus had reddish-brownish bodies with blue wings, articulated with white rims. However, we cannot trust totally since the Egyptian like upper frames are in one image red, in the other green.

From the photographs available it is clear that Jones and Fergusson employed contrasting color schemes for the Persepolitan inspired frames. While the hair and beards of the colossi were painted black and the face in the same color as the body or only slightly brighter the horned crown was left white with a system o f dot s a nd golden horns, a s well a s an u pper cr own o f b lue l eaves.

H owever, b oth reconstructions show blue for the plaster casts of the bull capitals from Persepolis supporting the columns of the Nineveh Court. In the Nineveh Court, yellow seems to have been used to imitate what may have been original gilding. The presentation stands out as a landmark experiment in the portrayal of a polychrome ancient Near East for the general public. Notwithstanding the ex citement t hey generated, t he pol ychrome i nstallations sometimes a lso met w ith harsh criticism.

The sketches for the stage decorations and sets, d esigned b y Grieve and executed b y Gordon, Lloyds, and Days, ar e p reserved today i n t he Victoria and Albert Museum and indicate that colors were used to paint the ancient Assyrian interiors. There is only one c lass of visitors w ho will di scover t he slabs in the Nineveh Court to be really relieved at all, and that is the blind.

Their sense of touch may a scertain t he i nequality of t he s urface; bu t t hose dr iven t o t rust t o t heir e yes onl y i n t he examination of works of art will take these famous restorations for nothing more than a flat wall painted, and that not-precisely in a style calculated to atone for the sacrifice of the relief; for the same ant i-Eastern gaudiness pr evails he re w hich characterises their gigantic neighbours.

The more one contemplates this great eyesore of t he C rystal P alace Want of t ime maybe j ustly pleaded Contrasting opi nion a ppeared i n an a nonymous review in J uly , just a f ew w eeks after t he op ening. Here, the com mentator praised the edu cational values of t he installations Anon. It i s app arent that t he num ber of artists who used t he sculpture galleries in the British Museum decreased dramatically between and Jenkins 31 , while the number of visitors in the Crystal Palace exponentially rose.

In , R. Westmacott 28 wrote, referring to Assyrian monuments, that On May 5, Fergusson countered that those who viewed the polychromy of Assyrian palaces as barbarous were simply revealing their own bleak sensibilities. He claimed that he could If anyone likes to assert that the taste of t he Assyrians was bad, and their art barbarous, that is a m atter of opinion which I do not propose to discuss at present Fergusson In reviewing the history of polychrome casts of ancient Near Eastern palace reliefs in the second ha lf of t he ni neteenth c entury, we c an observe t hat pol ychrome casts be came a common f eature i n E uropean publ ic c ollections, w here they w ere pl aced alongside original reliefs.

The phenomenon of the painted plaster cast is an important feature in the mindset of t he l ate ni neteenth c entury museum di splay e. Three ni neteenth cent ury pa inted plaster cas ts of pa lace r eliefs from t he N eo- Assyrian palace of Nimrud are preserved today in the storerooms of the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin Figure 2. Long hidden in the storerooms, the backgrounds of the reliefs ar e pa inted green, while t he coa t of w inged de mons ha s a lternating c olors a nd human s kin a r eddish c olor.

A hunt ing s cene f rom t he s ame pa laces ha s an e laborately rich coloration on the horse trappings. The hair and beards of the bowmen in the cart have been p ainted bl ack w hile t heir clothing i s w hite a nd s kin color a gain a r eddish color.

Nagel Even though most of the polychrome plaster casts displayed in the nineteenth century are no longer preserved, we can get glimpses of the palette and patterns of the application of polychromy on t he c asts f rom c ontemporary de scriptions a nd r eviews, a s w ell a s from pictorial doc umentation.

T heir c ontribution t o our unde rstanding of t he original pol ychrome pa lette of a ncient N ear E astern e nvironments is, therefore, rather limited. The f act t hat t hese cas ts w ere fully colored does, however, attest t o t he overall polychrome treatment of the original monuments, which had been excavated only a few 30 Under what circumstances these painted casts in German museums either landed i n storerooms as in Berlin , or were destroyed in World War II remains to be studied.

It a lso a ttests publ ic i nterest i n t he de bate on t he pol ychromy of a ncient Near Eastern stone reliefs. Unfortunately, no records are preserved recording the process and the decisions that led to reconstructing the ancient color applications.

Paris h ad already been the f oremost E uropean center of discourse on polychromy relating to Greek, Roman, a nd E gyptian m onuments. In , Franz- Christian G au had e xhibited a s eries of br ightly c olored s tudies o f anc ient Egyptian facades at t he P aris S alon Gau Gau was a close friend of J acob Ignaz Hittorf , on e of t he m ost pr ominent de fenders of a ncient G reek s culptural polychromy. Hittorf had displayed the first polychrome reconstructions in Rome in Hammer ; Schneider ; Middleton I : Yet when it came to his subsequent presentations of the issue of polychromy on Assyrian monuments he drew back from the trend to revel in colorful constructions.

Already his first comment on the subject of polychromy is critical of recent approaches towards repainting the past in London, Munich, and elsewhere: The coloring of t he b as-reliefs i s a de licate i ssue, more r elevant to pure decoration than construction. Several people, in unnecessary attempts to restore them, did not hesitate to apply color on the entire surface of the bas-reliefs, including the weapons, the clothes, the faces, the flesh, the beards and the hair. It seems to us that this is going much too far.

There is no doubt that polychrome sculpture has been known since ancient times, and that the Assyrians did use such a natural method of depicting [emphasis mine]. B atchelor has tried to identify a di rect link between ancient phi losophers a nd other authors l ike P liny t o t hese ni neteenth century philosophical discourses on color.

They argued that in Egypt hardly a s quare i nch of s urface c an be f ound ov er w hich t he pa inter ha s no t dr awn hi s br ush, [while] elsewhere, in Greece for instance, we shall find him more discreet, and his artificial tints restricted to certain well-defined parts of a figure or building Perrot and Chipiez The answer given was clear for them: The Assyrian reliefs were coloured, but they were not coloured all over like those of Egypt; the grain of t he s tone did not disappear, f rom one e nd o f t he f rieze t o the other, u nder a l ayer o f painted stucco.

The Debate on the Polychromy of Ancient Near Eastern Monuments in the Twentieth Century The populartity of di splaying p ainted plaster c asts a longside or iginal monuments of ancient Near Eastern art in museums declined by the end of the nineteenth century. The Nineveh Court burned down in a nd was never rebuilt. And yet, taken together, they are necessary and remain indispensable to the whole. Extracted from a lecture, delivered in November in Jena, Germany, cited in Kader All the evidence t hat A ndrae di scovered might ha ve op ened up t he pos sibility of w ide r anging studies a bout pol ychromy in t he a ncient N ear E ast or s pecifically i ts pl ace i n t he N eo- Assyrian environment.

I ronically how ever, Andrae d esigned a reconstructed Assyrian palace i nterior f or t he V orderasiatisches M useum i n B erlin, w hich ope ned i n F or this presentation, Andrae rejected the incorporation of any of the painted plaster casts of orthostat r eliefs t hat ha d pr eviously be en on di splay i n B erlin. Instead he i nstalled original orthostat reliefs on the walls of this gallery. They were placed against a deep red painted ba ckground.

P laster cas ts of w inged Lamassu guardian f igures from the B ritish Museum completed this display, but were left uncolored Jakob-Rost This i s a s ignificant i ndex of dampening of interest in pol ychromy in the ancient Near East broadly speaking at mid- century.

The eleven papers are valuable contributions to the study of color through literary texts, including one on c onceptions of c olor a nd c olor s ymbolism i n H omeric G reece Rowe , a paper on colors in Jewish tradition Scholem , and one on l ight and color i n ni neteenth c entury Iran Corbin Landsberger publ ished a landmark study on c olor terms in Sumerian and Akkadian.

Moortgat and Ebeling had summarized the evidence for wall paintings across the pre-Achaemenid Near East. U sing Landsbergers s tudy, Ebeling incorporated s ome m aterial about t he c olors referred t o in ancient t exts. Landmark studies o n ancient N ear E astern wall pa intings followed soon Tomabechi ; Nunn Paley commented on these issues in his publication on N eo-Assyrian palace art, in which he became a strong advocate o f a t otal pol ychromy of t he A ssyrian r eliefs.

Nunn al so discussed t he i ssue. N otably, s he e xtended he r s tudy t o i ncorporate t he A chaemenid period by citing observations on the polychromy of the reliefs at Persepolis that had been just recently published by Tilia see below, Chapter 4. Moorey offers a brief analytical ove rview of t he m aterial evi dence f or pol ychromy on ancient N ear E astern relief sculpture making f ull use of the Persepolis material revealed by then.

In addition, Moorey reviews the state of research on pigment material sources and analysis available to hi m a t t he t ime Moorey 79 A pi oneer i n t he a nalysis of pigments f rom painted s tone s culptures of pr e-modern t imes w as R utherford J ohn G ettens. Gettens recognized the importance of the conservation of the materials and pigment analysis early on, and i n hi s s tudy of the evidence f rom Buddha s tatues i n A fghanistan he of fered an 35 This interest in ancient Near eastern mural painting has continued with the work of Albenda Again, this deals only with pre-Achaemenid evidence.

See, also Tomabechi a, Tomabechi b. Gettens was particularly influential in the formation of collections of pigment samples from Asian sites. Even for the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires, where evidence for the polychromatic as pect of t he r elief s culptures continued to be ex cavated, no systematic initiative ha s to this d ay been started to reopen the ol d que stion of w hether t he monuments were only partially or entirely painted.

In s harp c ontrast to this s ituation for the N ear E ast, the t wentieth century s aw great pr ogress i n the i nvestigation of as pects of ancient Egyptian pol ychromy, pa inting techniques, c olor, and c olor s ymbolism. In Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries Alfred Lucas , laid the groundwork for a technically advanced investigation of ancient Egyptian painting materials , 4th ed. A nu mber of pa pers 36 E. Important e vidence, useful for comparison, like the well preserved wall paintings from a N eo-Assyrian Palace at Til Barsip in Syria was published in the t wentieth c entury Thureau-Dangin a nd D unand 6; c p.

A bbate ; p igments from t he s ite: Granger , b ut has not be en di scussed or s tudied i n r elationship with t he c olors on t he c arved s tone monuments found nearby. Blue painted horses on the wall paintings at Til Barsip led to the suggestion that Assyrian ki ngs d yed t heir r eal h orses bl ue Reade 32 , a n i nteresting hy pothesis—not pi cked u p, however, by later scholars.

The standard handbook has been superseded by Nicholson and Shaw I mportant works on c olor i n a ncient Egyptian art include Kees ; Schenkel , Forbes ; Baines All these publications, and an increasing demand f or de tailed i nvestigations, have cont ributed to a g reater aw areness am ong al l experts i nvolved. Two comprehensive w orks by P. Moorey , Materials and Manufacture in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Evidence of Art and Archaeology which includes a s mall s ection on glazed materials, and Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries: The Archaeological Evidence can be s een as t he equivalent of Lucas in the field of ancient Near Eastern studies.

It is only very recently that a n ew wave of systematic analysis of pol ychromy in any ancient Near Eastern context has been undertaken and the impetus has come mainly from conservation scientists and field archaeologists e. P ositions on t he e xtents of pol ychromy on ancient N ear E astern s tone monuments, r emain, however, m ainly un changed. It s hould t herefore not com e as a s urprise that nearly all movies set in ancient Near Eastern interiors, imaginative a s t hey are, c ontinue t o f avor a lmost exclusively white monuments Figure 2.

G riffith, , Alexander the Great R. Rossen, and Solomon and Sheba K. Vidor, Latest examples include t he monuments d epicted i n t he t riumphal p rocession o f Alexander i n B abylon, as d epicted i n Alexander O. Stone, Today, s cholars are w ell aware of how f ruitful i t c an be t o apply a c ombination of methods f rom va rious scientific f ields.

Systematic i nvestigations into t he r ole of polychromy on t he monumental sculptures of the ancient Near East are still lacking but impacts f rom t he n eighboring disciplines can a ssist us in the pr ocess and s how t hat progress c an be m ade if col laboration takes pl ace.

In E gyptian, G reek, and R oman a rchaeology scholars today are able to build upon an earlier tradition of comprehensive studies e. Documenting and Preserving the Paints of the Assyrian Palaces It is impossible to review the historiography of polychromy and paint on reliefs in the last two centuries without referring to efforts that were undertaken to preserve the surfaces of the m onuments.

While his colleague in London, British Museum curator Hawkins, commented likewise on the fragility of the surface of the stone reliefs letter from August 40 Already before the first Assyrian palace reliefs and colossal statues had reached Europe, it was reported that J. B onomi see ab ove , who would l ater b ecome one o f th e foremost a uthorities on E gyptian wall paintings, had made an impressive number of molds from ancient Egyptian sculptures and wall reliefs in order to paint casts in London when traveling with Robert Hay throughout Egypt and Nubia in the s David During the process of mold-making from the originals, it is reported that pigments were removed f rom t hem.

A s imilar f ate b efell t he co lorful r eliefs from t he t emple o f K arnak, where well- meaning workmen co ated t he r eliefs with a varnish t hat soaked a way n early al l t he paint, l eaving t he surfaces almost white Waxman Casts of a relief from the temple of Beit el-Wali, Lower Nubia, are still, r e-painted i n b y Douglas Champion, on di splay i n t he B ritish M useum. T he r epeated mold- making of ancient stone reliefs will feature again when we discuss the situation of Persepolis see below.

Furthermore, it is reported that Layard, who would have had the best opportunity to document the colors on the monuments at the moment of their emergence, whitewashed panels on t he s ite s o t hat he c ould draw t hem better Reade n. With the many requests for casts, the curators in Paris and London faced similar problems.

R eiset to learn whether the pr ocess of molding w ould ha rm t he s urface of t he or iginals. That these concerns r emained only e pisodic is evident, however, from a detailed investigation into the c orrespondence b etween London a nd P aris c oncerning t he pr oduction of c asts f or exchange.

Official requests for taking molds of original monuments in order to duplicate 41 This is in no way exceptional. The monuments from the Mausoleum were found with abundant traces of paints. Jenkins 39 Figs.

Although a cast workshop had existed in the Louvre since the early nineteenth century, i t was o nly i n the 1 s t hat a ctivities a nd d emands e normously i ncreased, mainly d ue t o t he arrival of the large number of ancient Near Eastern antiquities. O n D ecember 10, , t he T rustees of t he B ritish Museum, however, agreed to allow more molds to be made, but required protected with tin foil wherever color appeared ibid.

The requests by Fergusson and Layard for casts for their polychrome vision at the Crystal P alace i n Sydenham and their negotiations le d t o mold-making from original reliefs i n P aris i n N ovember b y P ierre-Laurent M icheli. Siegel ha s recently collected some pr imary sources on a d ebate ab out t he display a nd t he c leaning of t he N ineveh r eliefs t hat t ook pl ace i n Siegel Also, from monuments f rom N imrud a nd N ineveh c asts were m ade ibid.

The B ritish c ritised th e molds for t heir i mperfection Rionnet ; Letter 1 4th November , but t he Louvre refused to produce n ew molds Rionnet 21 n. I n e xchange f or t he c asts t hat were a llowed t o be t aken earlier, Lottin de Laval was allowed to make casts of the British Museum Nimrud monuments. T he casts were obviously displayed along the originals in the Louvre, joined by another cast of a bull, executed i n by Maximilien Pellegrino Togneri, although they are not mentioned in the contemporary guide books.

The cast collection of the Louvre was in fact, kept in the neighboring rooms to the Assyrian rooms. The material is such that any application of water must necessarily injure them. We touch them as little as possible. Conclusions Since t he a rrival of t he f irst a ncient Near E astern m onuments i n E uropean m useums, scholars ha ve only o ccasionally d ealt w ith the matter of t he o riginal pol ychromatic treatment of the palace reliefs.

There are practically no theoretical writings on the issue of polychromy in t his s phere. The s ituation stands i n s harp c ontrast t o the liverly polychromy d ebate t hat has focused on ancient Greece, Rome, a nd E gypt. In s ome respects, however, the n ineteenth c entury l ayman w as m ore e ducated on c ertain i ssues regarding the public presentation of ancient Near Eastern polychromy than we are today.

The brightly painted casts of those days were excellent examples of the public education that ne arly al l contemporary museum displays fa il t o offer as a m eans of educating t he public a bout a ncient pol ychromy. In t hat s ense, the ni neteenth century can therefore be seen as an enlightened era. While t his m ission of publ ic e ducation w as l audable, a n appreciation of the pol ychromy of ancient N ear Eastern m onuments c ompeted w ith t he imperatives of pr eserving a nd t he doc umenting t he a ccuracy o f t he pr esentation of t he material r ecord.

E xamples l ike t he one s i ntroduced s erve a s r eminders t hat hi stories of color are only as firm as the available evidence, which can change dramatically with new finds a nd new technologies a pplied i n t he d etermination of pi gments a nd s urface coatings. In the ch apters t hat follow, the cas e s tudy of t he A chaemenid Persian E mpire takes the stage.

The sites of Persepolis and Susa and their larger imperial context have much t o of fer i n a fresh pe rspective on pol ychromy i n t he a ncient w orld a nd on t he competing factors and tensions between preservation and presentation. In t his c hapter, I will pr esent r elevant i nformation f rom a ncient s ources a nd then proceed first to the testimony of early modern travelers and on to the investigations of ni neteenth c entury an tiquarians and excavators.

The doc umentary evi dence col lected here is critical to a fuller appreciation of the original polychromy of Achaemenid Persian capitals; i t al so r eveals t he s ignificance of pe rceptions a of the pol ychromy o f ancient Near Eastern palace architecture in general, and b of the polychromy of ancient Persia within the larger general di scourse on t he historiography o f t he archaeology of Achaemenid imperial s ites.

Heretofore, the i mportance o f pol ychromy i n t hat di scourse has remained largely hidden. Pasargadae did, h owever, still figure p rominently among the sites in the Fars administration network at the close o f the sixth century seen in the Persepolis Fortification tablets, as a s ite where s pecific r eligious activities occurred Henkelman and But it he ld iconic s tatus a s a locus of Persia Sumner As the tablets from Persepolis attest, bureaucracy worked, however, mainly on a regional level.

Modern scholars agree that the epigraphic evidence available suggests that each of t he A chaemenid capi tals, Persepolis, Susa, Ecbatana and Babylon in modern Iraq had administered its own hinterland with satellite villages and hamlets, which was often qui te s ubstantive.

The territory o f the a dministration of Persepolis c overed the largest pa rt o f pr esent-day Fars, a n area of h undreds of ki lometres but s ee now : Henkelman , while Susa, where we lack similar rich epigraphic evidence, may have administered most places in t he S usiana pl ain i n K huzestan.

As recent research has shown, life at Susa, the millennia old capital of the Elamite Empire was probably very much intermingled with life at the wider Persepolis area. A network of settlements linking both capitals existed e. All of t hese core s ites ha d l ongstanding pr e-Achaemenid t raditions of pol ychromy—in the form of , e. These longstanding traditions are part of the legacy to which the Achaemenids were heir when they established themselves in southwestern Iran.

Strabo, Geographica T he r ock-cut tombs of t he A chaemenid r uler D arius I the Great BCE a nd his s uccessors embellish the mount ain cliffs a t N aqsh-e R ustam onl y s ome 11 km t o t he nor thwest of Persepolis, a nd t hose of the K uh-e-Rahmat l ooking dow n over the T akht at P ersepolis itself Figures 3. Figure 3. Persepolis proper was p art of a l arger ecological environment t hat i s de fined i n part b y the Sivand River, further north of the platform. The Sivand River connects Persepolis to the r oyal ne cropolis of N aqsh-e R ustam, w ends i ts w ay along Istakhr a nd ot her settlements many of which are referred to in the Persepolis Fortification Tablets [PFT] in this fertile plain and continues on to the imperial site of Pasargardae in the north e.

It i s our onl y ancient literary description, and while not detailed on s pecific buildings a nd m onuments, i t he lps us to envision the s ite that Alexander of M acedon encountered during his invasion in the winter of BCE. B radford W elles. A ssuming t he or der of hi s description is c orrect, this inf ormation refers to the dw ellings in the plain below the terrace, as he onl y t hen c ontinues w ith a de scription of the T akht i tself, w hich w as, according to Diodorus, fortified by three fortification walls He continues to describe t he t omb complexes be fore de scribing t he ci rcumstances o f t he f ire set by Alexander.

The ruins atop the lofty Takht have from the antiquity down to the present, been an evocative symbol of Iranian cultural heritage: a dramatic reminder of the Achaemenid dynasty, leaders of a powerful empire that ruled vast territories across Central Asia, Asia Minor, the Levant and North Africa between the sixth and the late fourth centuries BCE.

The ruins have attracted numerous European visitors since the eighteenth century e. These men have left valuable comments and records about the site as they witnessed it. Many of them also collected material from the site. This fact combined with the partage protocols in pl ace for a s eries o f a lmost uni nterrupted excavations conducted on t he s ite between and Mallampati has meant that the study of the site must take place not only in Iran but also in museums and collections around the world see Appendix 1.

Today, the Takht can be broadly divided into three separate areas, i. The Apadana, t he Palace of D arius a nd t he Central B uilding Tripylon —the a ncient n ames o f which a re unk nown t o us a nd h ave be en s ubject t o h eated de bates— were el evated o n i ndividual s tone platforms.

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