Walking into the Shah ‘Abbas exhibition in the British Museum’s Reading Room was almost a sense of ‘déjà vu’ as the very English Sir Robert Sherley & wife Teresia gaze down as they did in the Tate’s ‘Lure of the East’ exhibition last year . This time they were not included because of the gorgeous costumes but for Robert Sherley’s role as Persian Ambassador from Shah ‘Abbas to various European Courts .
In 2007 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which of course has a very Persian flavour to it with the style of Shah Abbas’s dynasty throughout the interior of the building.
As Sultan Qaboos seems to like Persian art he will enjoy his visit to Iran this month. Perhaps the visit by the Omani Minister of Tourism in May to Homs and other Iranian cities was a build up to this visit - one trusts that the current political uncertainty will not affect His Majesty’s visit.
As an update – His Majesty’s visit did not take place at the end of June but Sultan Qaboos now should visit Iran during mid-July