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Threads on Threads: An exhibition on textile heritage in Sri Lanka, South Asia and Europe

The European Union (EU) Delegation in Sri Lanka and the Maldives together with the Threads of History Museum presents “Threads on Threads: an exhibition on the textile heritage in Sri Lanka, South Asia and Europe”. The two-week exhibition is an initiative of the EU Cultural Heritage Series.

Curated by Deshika Van Haght, the exhibition currently underway at Barefoot Gallery, with free walk-in entrance, primarily features Somanas and Chintz textiles, their making and their trade. Theexhibition showcases the long standing trade relationship between Sri Lanka, South Asia and Europe.

EU ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Denis Chaibi, said at the opening of the exhibition “Cultural heritage can be an important vector for peace, reconciliation, mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue and sustainable development. I am therefore happy to open the Threads on Threads exhibition that showcase Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and its linkages with Europe.”

Visitors can experience the history of modern day Sri Lanka’s textile heritage though exhibits consisting of 19th and 20th century fabrics made in Sri Lanka and India as well as European cotton textiles made for the Sri Lankan market, as well as text and high-resolution image panels.

These textiles are part of both the tangible and intangible heritage of Sri Lanka. Indeed, the cultural heritage of textiles does not end with the preservation and collection of costumes and other textiles in museums. It also includes living traditions inherited from past generations.

The exhibition held from the 9th to 24th of July 2022 is showcased at Barefoot Gallery, 704 Galle Road, Colombo 3, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm each day. This will be followed by an international conference co-organised by Lanka Decorative Arts and Threads of History Museum scheduled to take place later this year. It will be a free event with pre-registration required. The conference will see art historians, ethnologists, museum curators, and designers from Sri Lanka, South Asia and Europe debating and discussing history of textiles, their preservation, links and influences, contemporary craftsmanship and the challenges of modern.

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