Dec 06, 2011 at 10:39am IST

Archaeology from air: A view of ancient Israel

HYDERABAD: The cube spaced ICRR Art Gallery at the Kala Bhavan felt unusually  expansive on Monday. The reason was not an increase in wall size. Rather, aerial, wide-angled photos shot by ex- Israeli Air Force pilots showcased the ruins of ancient civilizations of Israel in their entirety, adding depth to the gallery room.
“India and Israel are both young nations, but also equally ancient civilizations. Such exhibitions will help both countries to learn more about each other’s culture. After all, a series of views of ancient civilizations feels more like a movie than a photo,” said  Alon Ushpiz, Ambassador of Israel. In the city for the first time, Ushpiz was hopeful that the 25 pictures taken of his country’s historic ruins would shed more light on the Holy Land and its past.
Visitors could be seen thronging for a closer look at the famed Holy Land which had been shot through the lenses of Duby Tal and Moni Haramati, both ex-fighter pilots with the Israeli Air Force, who run the Albatross Photo Company back home. The photos covered three different civilizations in the history of Israel and depicted the influence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam on ancient and medieval architecture.  Addressing the media, Vatti Vasanth Kumar, Minister for Tourism and Culture, said such initiatives are indicative of the friendly relations between the two countries.  Some of the sites showcased included the Rugum Hiri, the ancient port of Caesarea, the Hisham Palace, Katzrin Synagogue, Herodium, Kursi Church and The Ophel- the biblical city of King David.
Expressing delight at the response to the exhibition, Ken Sagar, president, Indo-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “This is probably the first time that India is hosting an all Israeli photo exhibition. We are grateful that the state government and the Israeli Embassy has taken such care to host an event like this, and that a large number of art aficionados have made their presence felt.”