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Published on 27 December 2011
Updated on 05 April 2024

Unicorn from the collection of Mughal and Deccani Painting This fantastic animal is a “unicorn”. The miniature was part of an exhibit on Mughal and Deccani Painting at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich[1]. By the way, the collector was Konrad SEITZ, a German diplomat and writer. An artist’s whim, in obvious violation of the principle on non-contradiction so dear to Western mind? Think again. Daniel SCHECHTMAN won this year’s Nobel Prize for discovering crystals, whose atoms are placed neither in “orderly” nor in “disorderly” fashion, but something in between. What is more contradictory than such a structure? Yet it exists. Nature at its most fanciful? Yes, but the human mind did not wait for SCHECHTMAN to discover this property of reality. Arab tilings[2] created centuries ago Arab tilings are built on the same counterintuitive and mysterious principles – in reverence to inexpressible God. As I’ve often maintained: diplomacy is where there are no rules… or logical principles – just reality.

[1] John SEYLLER et als. (2010): Mughal and Deccani Paintings. Museum Rietberg, Zürich.
[2] See Enzo PUPPIN (2012): Una struttura implossibile. Le Scienze, forthcoming.

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