Ham (murabi) & Cheese

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Posted by Hi Shawn from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net ( on Friday, July 05, 2002 at 4:52PM :

This is from the old site, at sitegadgets, which Fred set up himself. Feel free to go back there and have a look around:

Amer Fathead and The Gassman
Posted by parhad on July 05, 2001 at 00:42:44:

It was over a year ago that I went back to Chicago to take care of the
final details for installing Sumuramat. While there I visited Detroit to
answer "questions" which
had been raised, mostly through Nimrod's insinuations in letters he'd
written to various people in Detroit, and also by Amer Fatuhi regarding
the "authenticity" of my
Hammurabi design.

We met at Southfield Manor one night, the assembled members of the
Chaldean Federation, which has yet to do anything for the Hammurabi
(though its then
presdident Sam Yono donated generously himself). I spoke a bit then
fielded questions...Why was my Hammurabi different than the one true
figure of the king on the
famous stele of Hammurabi, the shaft with the Law Code inscribed? There
is a likeness of what is supposed to be Hammurabi wearing what can best
be described
as a bathrobe, with a turban on his head.

It is of course a stylized rendition, kings were usually true to a
"type" with hardly any distinguishing features. You wouldn't know
Ashurnasirpal from Ashurbanipal
without more information to go by.

I explained that he didn't look too heroic or kingly there and we have
to remember that this is a contemporary "interpretation"...not a
reproduction. No city would
alot a prestigious location to place a COPY of an original piece which
sat in another city. Besides, are we not able to create anything but
only copy for an eternity?
We have our own notions today of what a king should look like so, to
make it appealing to modern day audiences...who are my target, I made a
new version of him,
based nonetheless on sound design principles. Since I'm the only idiot I
know who has not only read about and studied our sculptural designs, but
made more of
them than anyone else, I felt I should be trusted. I was not making
kitchen cabinates for a customer. The city of Detroit wanted to know
they were dealing with a
professional artist, not a hired hack.

My favorite objections were the ones that had to do with the details. I
was assured that Hammurabi never wore a short skirt...that he never wore
boots such as I'd
shown him wearing ("those are war boots, everyone knows Hammurabi was a
peaceful man") I explained that I was certain the Great King had more
than one robe
and hat or pair o? shoes in his closet. In fact I'd say he had about
every style of clothing in his closet a man could have. Just because he
wore THAT outfit the day
the sculptor "caught" him, shouldn't lead us to believe that he was so
impoverished, or lacking in any refinement that he had no other clothes,
or other style of

I doubt I convinced anyone. I'm sure they thought I was getting a
kick-back from short skirt makers or something, or that I couldn't do
long skirts and was just
stalling. I explained about wanting to show more muscles and body, as
our sculptors had a special way with those, also that I was a sculptor,
not a tailor.

Amer Fatuhi had already told everyone I was Persian...(I told him I was
born in Iraq), and this was a plot to "Assyrianize" THEIR king. He
refered specifically to the
symbol of the God Shamash I had carved at the top of his throne, just
above his head. You know the one, the god drawing a bow encircled by
flames. The
Egyptians had the same idea, the Solar Disk, about as sensible an idea
of a benevolent god as you'd want. Some said the "arrow" meant violence.
I said it was a ray
of sunshine and could be also an arrow...after all they needed both in
order to live. Ameer insisted it was a plot because everyone knew this
was the symbol of

I'd come prepared and showed a book in which the "expert' said the
symbol was both Shamash and Ashur. No, not good enough. he insisted it
had to be
changed...and changed to what? The symbol Assyrians call the "Assyrian
Star" but which he insisted was the proper sign of Shamash...supposedly
a Chaldean only

Well this was silly. I was to replace one "Assyrian" symbol with
another. I can't imagine any Assyrian arguing over either symbol, but if
that's what it took, I agreed to
make that ONE change. And I did.

There was nothing in here about the Gassman...just thought I'd string
him along (he reads over here a lot!).



-- Hi Shawn
-- signature .

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