About poppy and opium from ancient times till today
For thousands of years people grew poppies and from them produced medicine, cosmetics, spices and oil, and mainly opium and its derivatives (such as morphine and heroin) – drugs that serve medicine but are also illegal and harmful. Hence opium becomes a both positive and negative product, and people choose how to use it. The exhibit presents diverse items from different spheres, cultures and periods, that show the nature of poppies, their products and related symbolism.
Different sections of this exhibit show new and ancient religious and artistic items designed in the shape of the poppy, medical and cosmetic products made of poppies today, and utensils for the illegal use of drugs.
The exhibit presents figurines from China (an elderly fisherman smoking an opium pipe), embroidered fabrics from Iran and Turkey, whose decorations bear symbolical-magical meanings, beads that look like poppy capsules from the late bronze age, that originate in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, China, Nepal, and Laos, weights for wieghing opium decorated and carved from the 20th century that originate in Thailand, Tibet, and Myanmar, decorated pipes from the 20th century, a carved pestle and mortar for grinding poppy capsules from the 20th century, India, a decorated bag, most likely used for smuggling opium from India (20th century), bottles filled with poppy oil from Holland from the 20th century, decorated jars and small bottles made of porcelain or glass from Europe from the 19th century which contained opium, cocaine, etc., coins from different periods decorated with poppy flowers, etc. A video film by Zur Sheizaf about growing opium in the Sinai Peninsula will be screened at the exhibit.
Curators: Dr. Eitan Ayalon and Hagit Sorek
Opens May 30, closes December 31, 2006