The Turkey-based Iranian artist, Babak Sobhi has created a ceramic sculpture, presenting the Gilgamesh epic in the Akkadian language. The 30-ton artwork has been installed in the city of Diyarbakir’s Sumer Park in southeastern Turkey.
“The sculpture is in the form of a ring and contains all the Gilgamesh Epic based on the 12 clay tablets found in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in Nineveh,” Sobhi told Iran’s Mehr New Agency.
“The whole story is carved on 2,500 individual pieces, each measuring 40×40 centimeters,” he added
The 47-year-old artist referred to the artwork as the largest of its kind in the Middle East, saying, “The Gilgamesh epic is known for its use of the word ‘amargi’ meaning freedom and the recurrence of the concept of social justice.”
The sculpture has been installed on 30 two-meter-high columns and it took two years for Sobhi and his 10 assistants to make and match the pieces.
Sobhi, who has been living in Turkey since 1990, has created some 100 sculptures in the country and has mounted numerous solo exhibitions.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Mesopotamian poem, is among the earliest known literary works of fiction, which is mostly about Gilgamesh’s search for immortality after the death of his friend Enkidu.
Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the mythological hero and was later gathered into a longer Akkadian poem.