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The Leighton House Lecture: Rory Stewart OBE MP
Thursday, 28 February 2013 from 19:00 to 20:00 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom
Leighton House Museum is pleased to announce the launch of an annual Leighton House Lecture organised in support of the Friends of Leighton House. Over coming years, the lecture will bring renowned speakers to the museum to explore themes around the relationship between "East‟ and "West‟ in history, art, culture and society. The series is launched with the first lecture; Turquoise Mountain: Culture and Conflict to be delivered by politician, academic and author Rory Stewart OBE MP, founder of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation and Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border.
Against the background of ongoing military conflict, Turquoise Mountain is a charity working to promote the regeneration of Afghanistan‟s traditional crafts, architecture and the rehabilitation of the old city of Kabul. Afghanistan was once an engine of civilization, and for centuries it was world-renowned for its arts, crafts and architecture. Turquoise Mountain (Firuzkuh in Dari) was the greatest indigenous Afghan capital of the Middle Ages, and for Afghan people, the name still evokes the country‟s glorious cultural heritage.
Turquoise Mountain was established by Rory Stewart in 2006 at the behest of His Excellency the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, and HRH The Prince of Wales, both of whom are Turquoise Mountain‟s Patrons. Since then, with the assistance and enthusiasm of around 350 staff Turquoise Mountain has created a cultural, educational and economic hub in the heart of Murad Khane, Kabul‟s Old City. Centred around the Institute for Afghan Arts & Architecture, it serves as a highly visible symbol of cooperation between Afghanistan, the international community, the Murad Khane community and the masters and students of the Institute. Into the future it will continue to drive the regeneration of the historic old city and the craft industry, and cement the legacy of heritage, education and culture and its symbolic place in Afghanistan's future for decades to come. Recent projects have included:
- An extensive program of regeneration and restoration including clearing 12,000 cubic metres of garbage
- Repair of over 50 houses; installation of 330 metres of drainage; reconstruction of 8 shops; and paving the area for the first time.
- Launching a women‟s embroidery programme; a women‟s literacy programme; Murad Khane Public School (serving over 100 pupils, half are girls) and a medical centre.
- Providing market opportunities and support in business development to Afghan men and women.
Through the lecture, Rory Stewart will give his personal account of why the Foundation was so desperately needed, its work to date and ambitions for the future.
When & Where
Friends of Leighton House
The Friends of Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace
The Friends play an important role in the life and work of the museums. The funds they raise go towards developing and preserving all aspects of Leighton House and 18 Stafford Terrace, thus furthering the appreciation of Victorian art and social history and brining them to a new generation through educational events.