CBL | Exhibitions | Jerusalem, The Eternal City
Skip Navigation

Jerusalem, The Eternal City

26 July to 25 November 2001

Held sacred by the world’s three great monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity and Islam--Jerusalem is truly an eternal city, present in the hearts and minds of millions of people throughout the world and throughout the ages.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the magnificent painting of the Old City of Jerusalem by London artist Ben Johnson that was completed in 2000. The painting, which measures 229 x 457 cm, is the focus of the exhibition. A display of modern and archival photographs complements the painting’s ‘bird’s eye’ view of the city by providing a closer look at some of the more than 20,000 buildings it depicts and the people who inhabit them. Together, the painting and photographs portray the religious and cultural diversity of this four thousand-year old city.

The painting was commissioned by the Khalili Family Trust "in the hope that in the new Millennium it will be possible for Jews, Christians and Muslims to live together in peace and harmony."

The exhibition functions as an invitation to each visitor to pause and take time to explore for him- or herself ways in which people everywhere might learn to live together in our religiously diverse world.

Many of the aspects of Jerusalem’s heritage touched on only briefly, if at all, in the space of the exhibition will be discussed in an accompanying series of nine public lectures delivered by a number of distinguished lecturers both from Ireland and abroad. A program of films and children’s activities will also accompany the exhibition.

The Library wishes to acknowledge the kindness of David Khalili in allowing Ben Johnson’s painting to be exhibited at the Library, the Khalili Family Trust’s generous support of the accompanying lecture series, and the kind assistance of the Tower of David Museum (Jerusalem) and the Embassy of Israel (Dublin). The archival photographs included in the exhibition are from the collections of the Royal Geographical Society (London), the Palestine Exploration Fund (London), and the Department of Near Eastern Languages, University College Dublin. The modern photographs are the work of Ben Johnson (London), Peter Sanders (London), and Muir Associates (Dublin).