The attached photograph is 'Qasr al-Mushatta (Winter Palace)'
which was taken by Duma in 1875.
Ms Khairieh, one of the most prominent archaeologists in Jordan,
who is a marker of my 'blog' and was one of the best partners for
making up an exhibition plan of the Jordan National Museum (she
recently withdrew from the project for some reasons − so sad to
say it), mailed it to me the other day.
'Qasr al-Mushatta' is located near the Queen Alia International
Airport in the suburbs of Amman. Due to its heavy guard for the
airport, it is not so easy to approach the Qasr unfortunately.
If completed, this palace would have been the best palace of the Umayyad,
the first Islamic dynasty, however it needed so tremendous money and
labor that it became the cause to accelerate the Umayyads' collapse.
After the Umayyads was collapsed by the Abbasids in 750, the construction
work was suspended and the palace was abandoned.
Many pieces of the splendid decorations of the palace were disappeared
over the years and they are now displayed in museums around the world
quietly. Among them one, which is not quietly displayed is a part
of the outer wall entrance of the palace shown in the attached photograph,
has been reconstructed in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin and it is
one of the special exhibits of the museum.
Just before the WW I, in 1903, Sultan Abd al-Hamid of the Ottomans,
having been in fear of the invasion by Britain and France, 'gave'
the palace to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. Hence, Germany carefully
tore off the wall decorations, cut them up and brought them back to
their mother land by ship. Now we can see exposed red bricks only.
As one of the valuable exhibits of the Jordan National Museum, we
requested the Pergamum Museum, however the reply was very heartily
kind, even bringing tears to our eyes, 'as the special exhibition
of Jordan will be held in the near future, an elaborate 1/15 model
will be made and presented to you for nothing after the exhibition.'
If the model is so much elaborate, the Pergamum Museum can display
it and return the real thing to Jordan. This desire is too envious,
Together with Khairieh, the above, and Jihad, introduced in the 'Hard
Work', we discussed how to display the wall many times and reached
a conclusion, not the final one, that we will extend such an attached
photograph as an old one of the beautiful outer wall of the palace
before Germany took away into a real size and display a real 'Rosetta'
(a rose motif decoration), only one remained in Jordan, on the photograph
- as a symbol of the silent protest against the loss or plunder of
By placing a real thing, even only one, among imitations, it could
be brought into relief what is the genuine.