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London: "lifting" creative spirits

The earliest-known recording in history of flying carpets belonged to King Solomon. Ancient astronaut theorists will suggest that this carpet was hardly a rug; instead, some sort of alien spaceship to which the King had special access. Because he was a king, of course. Given this rug spanned, reportedly, tens of kilometers, perhaps an extraterrestrial aircraft is not such a big leap.

"Riding a Flying Carpet" (1880) by Viktor Vasnetsov

But we can't pretend to know. Aliens hidden in the mists of time, creative stories, or a magic lost to modern civilization (no doubt thriving in remote corners of the Himalayan Mountains)... why can't we enjoy the romance of our legends? Other reports of flying carpets in the life of Solomon involve a glorious green and gold piece, studded with precious stones, sent from Queen Sheba as a token of love. Her alchemist was apparently quite skilled with this sort of thing. Too busy to accept the gift, Solomon transferred it to his courtiers. Queen Sheba was heartbroken and gave up on flying carpets.

Others did not give up on so-called magic carpets. The history of these flying vessels is strange and interesting. And though there are few alchemists left in this world who can prove these tales right or wrong, there is this.

Magic Carpet Storytelling Sundays at The National Gallery. Every Sunday, this carpet flies to another painting and another tale is unveiled. The storytelling is aptly designed for children 5 years or younger, which is a bit of a shame. Must adults tire of stories told on special carpets?

The alien theory is interesting, certainly. But let's not allow our "knowledge" to dampen our spirits...

Learn more about these events >>

Magic Carpet Storytelling Sundays at
The National Gallery in
The Education Foyer
Sundays 10:30 - 11:00am and 11:30am - 12pm
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

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