Curatola, Giovanni 1953-

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Curatola, Giovanni 1953-

PERSONAL:

Born 1953.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Dipartimento di Storia e Tutela dei Beni Culturali, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Universita di Udine, Via Tarcisio Petracco, 8-33100 Udine, Italy. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Udine, Udine, Italy, professor of Islamic archaeology and art history.

WRITINGS:

Soltìaniye II, [Venice, Italy], 1979.

Tappeti, A. Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1981, translation by Simon Pleasance published as The Simon and Schuster Book of Oriental Carpets, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981.

Kalat-i Nadiri: Note sul ‘Barocco’ Indo-persiano, Per l'Undici di Marzo (Venice, Italy), 1983.

(With Alexandr L. Jakobson, Karo Ghafadarian, and Herman Vahramian) Kasakhi Vanker: Hovhannavank/Saghmosavank, Oemme (Milan, Italy), 1986.

(Collaborator, with Stefano Carboni) Ernst J. Grube, Arte Veneziana e Arte Islamica: Atti del Primo Simposio Internazionale Sull'arte Veneziana e l'Arte Islamica, L'Altra Riva (Venice, Italy), 1989.

(With Gianroberto Scarcia) Le Arti nell'Islam, La Nuova Italia Scientifica (Rome, Italy), 1990.

Le Vie della Seta e Venezia, Leonardo-DeLuca (Rome, Italy), 1990.

Eredità dell'Islam: Arte Islamica in Italia, Silvana (Milan, Italy), 1993.

(Editor) Ceramiche Persiane: IX-XIV Secolo, Michail Ancient & Islamic Pottery (Italy), 1993, translation published as Persian Ceramics: From the 9th to the 14th Century, Skira (Milan, Italy), 2006.

Sciamani e Dervisci: Dalle Steppe del Prete Gianni: Religiosità del Kazakhstan e Percezione del Fantastico a Venezia, Edizioni Multigraf (Rome, Italy), 2000.

(With Gianroberto Scarcia) Iran: l'Arte Persiana, Jaca Book (Milan, Italy), 2004, translation published as The Art and Architecture of Persia, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(Author, with others, and editor) Iraq: L'Arte dai Sumeri ai Califfi, Jaca Book (Milan, Italy), 2006, translation published as The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Giovanni Curatola, professor of Islamic archaeology and art history at the University of Udine, Italy, has written and edited several books on the art and architecture of Persia (present-day Iran) and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). Among his books available in English are The Simon and Schuster Book of Oriental Carpets and Persian Ceramics: From the 9th to the 14th Century, as well as two critically admired overviews: The Art and Architecture of Persia, written with Gianroberto Scarcia, and The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia, which Curatola cowrote and edited.

The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia focuses mostly on architecture and includes an end section with photographs and drawings of important archaeological sites. As Anne Marie Lane pointed out in a Library Journal review, this section makes the book particularly relevant because so many of these sites have been threatened with looting or outright destruction after U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The book also contains a brief discussion of ceramics and manuscripts. The Art and Architecture of Persia covers traditional arts, including textiles and carpets, metal works, ceramics, and an entire chapter on manuscripts and miniature paintings. It also presents a comprehensive discussion of architecture, including temples, mosques, palaces, and monuments. As a writer for Internet Bookwatch pointed out, the book presents a "stunningly beautiful" overview and is enhanced by Guratola and Scarcia's informative introduction.

In 2004 the foreign ministry of Italy sent Curatola to Iraq to take charge of protecting precious archaeological sites in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. As Curatola explained in an interview with Tandem contributor Antonio Maglio, his team cataloged about 10,000 sites of archaeological value in its first four months on the job. "That's just a tiny fraction," he added, "because the sites are estimated to be about 100,000. Let's not forget that Iraq, the ancient Mesopotamia, is where human civilization was born." The region, he explained, is where monotheism first arose; it is also the site where writing, government, and cities were first developed. Because of its history, Iraq is known as the cradle of human civilization. Noting that occupying troops threatened some archaeological sites, Curatola pointed out that "Saddam did no less: he built a Hollywood-style palace with Disneyland overtones [in Babylon], and put his own image everywhere." The purpose of archaeological protection, Curatola went on, is not merely physical but is also about "giving back to [Iraqis] the awareness of living in a land that is truly a patrimony of humankind."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

California Bookwatch, July, 2007, review of The Art and Architecture of Persia.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September, 2007, R. Brilliant, review of The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia, p. 82.

Internet Bookwatch, July, 2007, review of The Art and Architecture of Persia.

Library Journal, June 15, 2007, Anne Marie Lane, review of The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia, p. 64.

ONLINE

Tandem,http://www.tandemnews.com/ (March 14, 2004), Antonio Magio, "Saving a Patrimony of All Humankind."