Many of Hikmat’s sculptures were inspired by the tales of One Thousand and One Nights and have become Baghdad landmarks
Google’s famous doodle on Wednesday celebrates Mohammed Ghani Hikmat, a famed Iraqi sculptor who was born in 1929 and passed away on 12 September 2011. Hikmat was regarded as one of the most important Iraqi artists in modern history and many of his sculptures have become landmarks of Baghdad. Hikmat often drew inspiration from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, creating works such as a sculpture of Queen Scheherazade and King Shahrayar (1971), which is located in Baghdad’s Aby Nuwas Street and often described as the city’s showpiece. Other sculptures by him such as the Fountain of Kahramana, and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (1969) have also become iconic symbols of Baghdad. “Ghani’s creative hands have adorned his beloved city with the romantic spirit and the mood of One Thousand and One Nights, subtly reminding her inhabitants lest they forget her glorious past in the midst of her modern urban development.To Ghani, Baghdad is a beautiful and sensuous woman and he was gravely saddened and offended by her destruction and the world’s disrespect of her status,” writes Nada Shabout in her obituary following Hikmat’s passing in 2011, published on Jadaliyya. Hikmat also reacted to the destruction and looting of the Iraqi Museum of Modern Art in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein. “He organised a campaign of searching for and buying back stolen works. He formed and headed a Committee for Recovering Iraq’s Culture and was able to recover about 100 important works by renowned artists, starting with Jewad Selim’s wooden statue of Motherhood,” wrote Shabout. The Google Doodle commemorating Hikmat can be viewed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE Oman, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt.
Source: Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Apr 2016