Turkey: Church discovered in world’s biggest underground city in Nevşehir with never-before-seen frescos

“Turkey: Church discovered in world’s biggest underground city in Nevşehir with never-before-seen frescos”

by Matt Atherton via “IBT

Church fresco

An 1,500-year-old underground church has been discovered in Turkey with never-before-seen frescoes depicting Jesus and “bad souls being killed”. The church was found in the world’s largest known underground city in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey.

The frescoes have been described as depicting Jesus rising into the sky – known in Christianity as the Ascension – and the destroying of evil – known as the Last Judgement. The discovery of the church itself – which archaeologists suggest could be more than 1,500 years old – still has secrets to be revealed, as so far only the roof and uppermost part of the walls have been uncovered.

“Only a few of the paintings have been revealed,” said researcher Ali Aydin, who told the Hurriyet Daily News: “There are important paintings in the front part of the church showing the crucifixion of Jesus and his ascension to heaven. There are also frescoes showing the apostles, the saints and other prophets Moses and Elyesa.”

An urban housing project was taking place in the city of Nevşehir, where the church was found. It is part of a huge number of early dwellings, which form the largest known ancient underground city. The underground city itself was discovered in 2014, and around four miles of tunnels have been uncovered. The experts believe people lived here around 5,000 years ago.

Archaeologists have had to pause their excavations, however, as the winter humidity can damage the paintings. However, they have managed to reveal the ceiling of the structure which mainly sits underground, and were fascinated by the huge frescoes which can be found across the inside of the roof and top of the walls.

“We know that such frescoes have so far never been seen in any other church,” said Hasan Ünver, mayor of Nevşehir. “It was built underground and has original frescoes that have survived to this day. This place is even bigger than the other historical churches in Cappadocia.

“It is reported that some of the frescoes here are unique. There are exciting depictions like fish falling from the hand of Jesus Christ, him rising up into the sky, and the bad souls being killed. When the church is completely revealed, Cappadocia could become an even bigger pilgrimage center of Orthodoxy,.”


Coming Exhibition: Magnum – Contact Sheets

“Magnum – Contact Sheets”


Istanbul Modern

When: Feb. 26, 2015 – Aug. 2, 2015 (Hours Vary)


Istanbul Modern
Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No: 4, 34433 Karaköy – İSTANBUL

More Information: Here.

“Magnum – Contact Sheets” is a major exhibition that takes the contact sheet as the basis for exploring the creative process behind some of the world’s most iconic photographs from the Magnum Photos agency. The exhibition gives audiences remarkable access and insight into the decision-making processes of many of Magnum’s famous members through the inclusion of first-person accounts. With the development of digital technologies and their huge impact on photographic production, this exploration of photography’s analogue period sets out to both investigate and celebrate a technique that is becoming increasingly historic; to provide an “epitaph”, in the words of Martin Parr.

A contact print is obtained by exposing an image or a set of images against a single sheet of photographic paper of the same size as the negative. Often compared to an artist’s sketchbook, contact sheets are the photographer’s first look at what he or she has captured on the film roll. Because contact sheets provide raw images of the photographs, without any interventions in the process, they offer the artist an opportunity for self-criticism and making a choice. In this sense, looking at contact sheets is like entering the photographer’s private area of work, which he or she keeps secret. On the other hand, by showing us the before and after of the unique scene selected by the photographer, they enable us to witness how that moment came to be. They give the viewer a sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyesas they capture the scene. Contact sheets give clues as to the artist’s working process, the way they approach the subject matter and the extent to which the selected snapshot reflects reality.

Shedding light on the behind the scenes process of Magnum photographers, the exhibition reproduces work from over seventy years of visual history, including the D-Day landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey, Stuart Franklin’s Tiananmen Square, the Vietnam war by Philip Jones Griffiths and 9/11 by Thomas Hoepker. It showcases iconic portraiture of political figures, actors, artists and musicians, from Che Guevara and Malcolm X, to Miles Davies and The Beatles. Contact sheets and photographs are accompanied by close-up details, articles, books and magazine spreads.

Ephesus inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

“Ephesus inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List”

by Ozgure Tore via “FTN News

Ephesus library

The World Heritage Committee this afternoon approved the inscription of Ephesus in Turkey and three other sites on the World Heritage List. Besides Ephesus, sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining in Japan, Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System in Mexico, and Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape in Uruguay are approved.

The Committee also approved the extension of Spain’s Routes of Santiago de Compostela with the addition of the “Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain”.

The new sites are:

Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining (Japan)—The site encompasses a series of eleven properties, mainly located in the southwest of Japan. It bears testimony to the rapid industrialization of the country from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century, through the development of the steel industry, shipbuilding and coal mining. The site illustrates the process by which feudal Japan sought technology transfer from Europe and America from the middle of the 19th century and how this technology was adapted to the country’s needs and social traditions. The site testifies to what is considered to be the first successful transfer of Western industrialization to a non-Western nation.

Ephesus (Turkey)—Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometres from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin. . . .




by Hannah Ghorashi via “Art News


As reported by the New York Times today, Dr. Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran (“[and] a former Revolutionary Guards commander, retired pilot, and the loser of two presidential elections,” the article piles on neutrally) has ordered all of the city’s 1,500 billboards (a significant source of income from advertisements) to be replaced with copies of iconic works of both Western and Iranian art.

The project, installed almost overnight, was organized by the Organization of Beautification of Tehran, a municipal coalition created to improve appearance of parks and public areas. Mojtaba Mousavi, a representative counselor, commented to the Times, “Our people are too busy to go to museums and galleries, so we decided to turn the entire city into a huge gallery.”

Ghalibaf’s sudden zeal for visual art, the article notes, is likely politically motivated. A “canny and ambitious politician despite the two defeats,” Ghalibaf may intend to run for office in the 2016 presidential elections. Art collector and historian Hamid Taheri told the Times, “[This project] is clearly an attempt to win [the people’s] favor. I don’t mind though, it’s amazing to see art across the city.”

Now rising above the streets of Iran are images of Rembrandt paintings, photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Rothko Nos. 3, 10 and 13. Also included is a reproduction of Munch’s The Scream, a choice that will no doubt strike certain residents of Tehran (“who spend hours a day on congested roads”) as empathetic.

The Iranian works, on the other hand, had been selected with far more precaution, or, to put it less euphemistically, with a censoring eye. In Mousavi’s words, “some of the more modern work could lead to objections that we wanted to avoid.”

Only pieces by deceased artists were considered, resulting in the choice of relatively tame images of Persian carpets, paintings inspired by the Book of Kings, and works by painter Bahman Mohassess, fondly known as the “Persian Picasso.”