1. Important visitor, grand gifts
In 1954 the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie visited Amsterdam. He brought gifts for the mayor, Arnold d’Ailly: elephant tusks, spears and a shield. The red shield shows how important the emperor was. The mayor gave him a silver model of a Dutch ship from the seventeenth century.
1A Elephant tusks: Ethiopia; 1900-1954; ivory, silver-plated copper, wood; on loan from Amsterdam Museum, KA13042
1B Spears: Ethiopia; around 1954; wood, ivory, silver; TM-2411-2a, b, -3a, b
1C Shield: Ethiopia; around 1954; wood, velvet, sheet metal, buffalo leather, brass; TM-2411-1a
2. A diplomatic box
In 1998 Yasser Arafat, who was the political leader of Palestine, gave this small box to Schelto Patijn, the mayor of Amsterdam. Do you recognise the picture? It shows baby Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem, a city in Palestine. So it was a perfect gift. It was also made of something special. In Palestine they are very good at making things from mother of pearl, which comes from the inside of shells.
Bethlehem, Palestine; 1998; mother of pearl, wood, textile; on loan from Amsterdam Museum, KA 28433.1/2
3. A flower that connects us
Femke Halsema, the mayor of Amsterdam, got this plate from Engin Arıkan, a representive of Turkey in the Netherlands. If you look carefully you can see that there are tulips on it. That is not by accident. A long time ago, tulips were brought to the Netherlands from the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey emerged from the Ottoman Empire. Tulips are popular in both Turkey and the Netherlands.
Turkey; 2018; earthenware, glaze; on loan from the Office of Mayor Halsema, Amsterdam
A gift in return
Tell each other: what would you give a person who represents Turkey if you were mayor of Amsterdam? What would the gift look like, and why would you choose that gift?