Yesterday an exhibit of of over 40 of my paintings opened at the Palazzo Ducale in Lucca, Italy. One of the paintings on display shows the Kushite King Piye in 724 BCE, painted for National Geographic in 1990.
A few years ago, I brought that same painting out of my house to show a delivery man who had come to my house to pick up some other paintings.
The man told me he was from Sudan, the region where archaeologists have found remnants of the Kushite culture. I asked him if he had ever heard of Piye (or Piankhe, as he’s also known), or of the Kushite civilization, which was once powerful enough to conquer even the Nile valley to the north. The man just smiled and shrugged. He had never heard of any of it.
I was reminded of the stories of modern Khmer people living among the ruins of Angkor Empire, not knowing their ancestors had built it.
How easy it is to forget our own cultural heritage. It can happen from a period of willful cultural obliteration by a group in power, from a failure of education, or simply from the distraction of other things in the present field of view.
GJ post all about that painting.
The Italian exhibition is sponsored by Lucca Comics and Games.