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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

41.0082376, 28.9783589

Tues 23. [23 May 1905] Early to the Museum where Edmet Bey,
Hamdy's son, met and entertained me. He is 22 and has excavated
Cos [Kos] where he found the wonderful Èphebe and the heads
notably the idealised bust of Alexander. He is now busy with
Alamanda(?) There is an interesting bit of bas relief from Cos like the
Alexandrian series. It is the first of which the provenance is known to
be A.M. They are arranging an architecture room with friezes from
Magnesia -? Half of one of them is however in Paris. Hamdy arrived,
a pleasant old party. He lent me catalogues and I set to work sight
seeing. The Hittite room very remarkable, especially the great bas
relief frieze from Sinjirle which he discovered and a great statue of a
king in the round also from there. Spent a long time in the Byzantine
room, specially occupied with the huge sarcophagus of which the
background to the figures is arches, architraves (like the Selefke
[Silifke (Seleucia)] sarcoph.) and the ambo which is so like it in style
but not so well executed. Also most interesting fragments of 2
columns covered with vines and tiny scenes of figures between the
leaves - a Baptism in particular; cf for the style the Venetian Acre
['Akko] columns. Lots of busts of old men with a book in their hands,
bas reliefs in medallions all the same style. As I was going away Mrs
Block and the Poynters arrived. Hamdy Bey caught me up and
insisted on my lunching with him at the restaurant near the station. He
told me of his finding the Alex. sarcoph. of his paintings and of les
affreuses couches de ma fille. So back to the hotel where I wrote
letters. Then down to the Golden Horn, tried to see Zander and Edwin
Whittall neither of whom I found, and walked up to S. Sofia. It was the
'Asr. I made friends with a charming old party in a turban who sat with
me in the gallery and chatted about my travels during prayers. His
name is Muhammad Ali. After prayers I went down and walked about
the wonderful place which is more lovely and spacious than ever. So
home. Very hot night.

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