Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ancient Egypt in basketball

For those interested in modern uses of ancient Egypt design motifs, this is quite an unusul one: "The James Naismith Trophy, the trophy which is presented to the winner of the FIBA World Championship 2006 has returned from the defending champion Serbia & Montenegro (former Yugoslavia) and was displayed at the Draw Event venue today. . . . The trophy . . . . was originally designed in 1965 based on the inspiration of Dr. H.C. Renato William Jones, the first Secretary General of FIBA, who passed away in 1981 at the age of 74. He was very much impressed by one of the lotus columns with a particularly stylish bud shaped capital in the temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt and this inspired a portion of the trophy's design. . . .The original trophy, which is kept at the Pedro Ferrandiz Foundation in Spain, was completely remodelled in 1997. The top of the cup has a lotus flower design and a decagonal rotating middle piece, with carved maps of the continents and precious stones (black onyx, yellow citrine, green chrysoprase, red garnet and blue topaz) inlaid. The colours of these stones mirror those representing five FIBA zones. The base is made of marble and James Naismith's name is engraved on all four sides in Latin, Arabic, and Chinese letters, as well as in Egyptian hieroglyphics. "

Thanks are due to my ever valued Official Nitpicker, Chris Townsend, for pointing out that this cup is a basketball trophy, not a football trophy as I previously claimed.

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