Rug study tour to Uzbekistan

Category: Travel

Stefano Ionescu, Rome, has been organiser of rug study tours to many different countries and destinations. His most famous tour “Discover Transylvania” has been repeated many times but other destinations in Syria and Turkey have also been a part of his tour program.  Recently, in April 2012, Stefano organised a rug study tour to Uzbekistan entitled “Along the Silk Road: Uzbekistan” for a group of rug and textile collectors. This tour included visits to Tashkent, Samarkand and Bokhara.

The tour group in front of the State Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan in Tashkent. The woman second from left is Dr. Elmira Gyul who met the group in Tashkent.

Jozan Magazine has contacted some of the attendees and asked them to tell about their impressions from the tour. Suzanne Spahi,  a mosaic artist and rug & textile collector from Montreal, has very been helpful and shared images and impressions from the tour. So have Holly and Robert Mosby, renowned antique rug dealers from Florida. “The Uzbekistan tour was great and well organised by Stefano Ionescu, but don’t go there only for the food”, said Robert T. Mosby in a Skype transmission to Jozan Magazine.

“Firstly this trip was like a dream come true. Some 18 years ago in Paris I bought a fabulous poster of a close up photo of a mosaic tile, coming from Uzbekistan and I always had that dream since of going to Uzbekistan. What a surprise for me while taking pictures checking out a photo I had just taken, it was exactly that tile detail from the poster I have” said Suzanne Spahi to Jozan Magazine.

The real tile from Suzanne Spahi’s poster. Photographer Suzanne Spahi.

“Tashkent and Samarkand were very quiet cities and soviet in life and buildings. But in Bokhara it was a different feel, you really felt the old city and more life in it. The main historical sights in all three cities were very similar, but more distinct in Bokhara. The museums were quite fascinating, what incredible collections of Suzani’s, pottery, rugs….but really the dominating factor and treasures were the Suzanis”.

Suzani detail. Photographer Suzanne Spahi
Suzani – Museum Tashkent. Photographer Suzanne Spahi
Suzani – Museum Tashkent. Photographer Robert T. Mosby
Suzani – Museum Tashkent. Photographer Robert T. Mosby

“Stefano’s organised group got along marvelously well as we all had a common interest so the feel and communication with all of us was very dynamic. Those who were knowlegeable in textiles, rugs, mosaics all participated in sharing their information and that was very enriching….I was surprised seeing myself explaining all about different techniques in mosaics and tiles. We went to fashion textile shows, we saw Ikat weaving, rug making, mosaics making … impressive !” said Suzanne Spahi to Jozan Magazine.

Stefano Ionescu and his wife in a Suzani shop in Bokhara. Photographer Suzanne Spahi
Ikat weaving, Bokhara. Photographer Suzanne Spahi
Suzanne Spahi in Bokhara

Suzanne Spahi is a mosaic artist and operates from her gallery at 300 rue Villeray in Montreal. Suzanne has a passion for making mosaic copies of Oriental rugs and is running an exhibition in her gallery through 23 June 2012.

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