Common Heritage and Common Challenges

Hot Encounters: Glass Blowing and Glass Art in the Middle East and Europe


Lecture program & Workshop

28-30 January 2016, Pergamonmuseum Berlin

Glassblowing is believed to have been originated in the region of Syria in the 1st century BC, and rapidly spread throughout the ancient world. The use of the blowpipe and closed molds were important technical advances that revolutionized the glass production in the Roman Empire. Therefore, manual glass production has become an intangible cultural heritage shared between Europe and the Arab world.

Contemporary glass artists follow the tracks of former craftsmen and have become global travelers between Western and Eastern glass art traditions. The Working Group has invited researchers and artists to bring attention to historical and contemporary approaches of glass art production. 


Lecture Program

Dr Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk (Museum Kunstpalast/Glasmuseum Hentrich)

The Meaning of Glass - What Did People Think When They Thought About Glass in Mesopotamia, Egypt & Ancient Rome

Dr Andrea Becker (Museum für Islamische Kunst)

Super - Cali - Fragilistic: The Raqqa Experience

Nadania Idris (Berlin Glas e.V.)

Safeguarding Glassmaking as an Important Intangible Heritage in the Middle East

Ali Kaaf (Syrian Artist)

Paper and Glass


Workshop: Glass Fusing & Glass Painting

The lecture program was followed by an hands-on workshop, in which AGYA members were trained in glass fusing and painting techniques. The German glass artist Torsten Rötzsch inspiried the participants with a glass blowing demonstration, in which he used authentically reconstructed molds from the renowned glass worker Ennion (1st century AD). 

The event was realized in cooperation with Berlin Glas e.V. and with the kind support of the Museum für Islamische Kunst - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Members in Charge


Kirill Dmitriev

is Lecturer in Arabic in the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews and member of the German Die Junge Akademie.

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