15 February 2016
A major exhibition exploring the cultural history of Zoroastrianism, sponsored by the Government of India's Ministry for Minority Affairs (MOMA), comes to Delhi in spring 2016.
The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in history and imagination, produced by SOAS, University of London, will be at the National Museum in Delhi from 19 March to 31 May 2016. This exhibition will take place in collaboration with the British Library and UNESCO Parzor.
Originally exhibited at SOAS' prestigious Brunei Gallery in 2013 - a leading London gallery hosting contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East - the exhibition received widespread acclaim in national and international press, and was visited by more than 23,000 people.
The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in history and imagination will be the first international centenary event as SOAS launches its celebrations in June 2016 to mark 100 years, and will be first exhibition of its kind held in India.
The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey from the earliest days of the religion to its emergence as the foremost religion of imperial Iran culminating with the empire of the Sasanians. From the shores of Iran to the west coast of India the maritime journey of Zoroastrians is followed to their settlement in India where they came to be known as the Parsis, examining their growth as an immigrant community under British colonial rule and the later expansion of the modern diaspora.
Through a collection of over 300 objects, visitors will be introduced to a fascinating and diverse collection of artefacts, texts, paintings and textiles. These are displayed alongside spectacular installations that include a walk-in fire temple.
Dr Sarah Stewart, a curator of the exhibition and lecturer in Zoroastrianism in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS said: “We are delighted that the The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in history and imagination will be the first SOAS exhibition to tour internationally. The National Museum in Delhi is a wonderful venue and this opportunity will enable us to create new partnerships in India and increase the potential for future collaboration.”