‘Cairo to Constantinople,’ Edinburgh photo exhibition showcases 1862’s Middle East

The exhibition, entitled ‘Cairo to Constantinople: Early photographs of the Middle East,’ is on show at the Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. (Image courtesy: Royal Collection Trust)

A photography exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland, is showcasing images from the four-month expedition through the Middle East made by England’s King Edward VII in 1862.


The exhibition, entitled ‘Cairo to Constantinople: Early photographs of the Middle East,’ is on show at the Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.


There are around 200 photographs depicting the-then Prince of Wales travelling by royal yacht, on horseback and by train through current-day Egypt, Palestine and the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.


The expedition was designed to increase the Royal family’s understanding of the region at a time when the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and controlling the area was seen as an ideal way to protect the route to the Imperial crown jewel, India.


The photographs were taken by Francis Bedford and commissioned by Queen Victoria to record her son’s journey, according to the Paisley Daily Express on Thursday.


The exhibition marks the first time the images have been on public display in 150 years.
The prince kept a journal which is being digitized for display.


Greek and Roman antiquities were also collected when the Prince stopped in the Greek island of Rhodes for a day. These artifacts were photographed and some were bought back to England.


Sophie Gordon, senior curator of the project, said: “Bedford’s photographs were a revelation to the Victorian public who really only knew the Middle East through prints, books and the Bible. The photographs were believed to present a truthful, objective view of the region. A selection of 172 photographs were displayed in London after the tour and, with the additional interest from the royal connection, the exhibition was a huge success.”
 

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Last Update: Thursday, 07 March 2013 KSA 15:32 - GMT 12:32
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