Last Tuesday, 23 February, we were delighted to host the latest installment in our Fresh Perspectives lecture series. The evening saw Benedict Leigh (UCL Qatar, British Museum) deliver a lecture on “C.R. Ashbee’s vision of Jerusalem: the English Arts and Crafts Movement in the Middle East”.
Benedict discussed the challenges Ashbee faced during his time in Jerusalem overseeing building work in the city, trying to balance the need to develop the urban environment with the protection of historic sites and monuments. Benedict also looked at Ashbee’s work with the Pro-Jerusalem Society, and shared original photographs and plans to indicate the unique nature of Jerusalem’s built heritage.
Benedict gave a very fair and balanced examination of Ashbee’s legacy and of the different interpretations of his work in Jerusalem. Benedict was also able to draw interesting parallels between the way Ashbee worked, almost a century ago, and how archaeologists and conservators working in Jerusalem today need to collaborate with a range of different groups and agencies.
The lecture was followed by a number of questions and contributions from the audience, after which attendees enjoyed wine and refreshments.
The next lecture in our Fresh Perspectives series will see Nicholas Reese (Independent Scholar) talk on “Thieves, cut throats and vagabonds: European mercenaries in eighteenth century India”, at 6.30pm on Tuesday 15 March. Before then we will also welcome Professor (Emerita) Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS) to lecture on “Scribes and Libraries in the Mamluk period” on Thursday 10 March at 6pm. We very much hope that you will be able to join us.