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And so Tibet: Holy relics could be yours for just R175,000


And so Tibet: Holy relics could be yours for just R175,000

‘Murals of Tibet’ tome is signed by the Dalai Lama

Jennifer Platt

It’s not every day that His Holiness the Dalai Lama signs a book. It’s not every day that collectors can purchase a 1.5m- wide volume full of Buddhist treasures in the form of ancient Tibetan murals, paintings and frescoes. It’s also not every day that a book costs R175,000.Some would call this a priceless opportunity. Published by German art imprint Taschen, Murals of Tibet comes with a book-stand designed by world renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The stand is necessary because this is not a book one idly pages through in bed. Only five copies will be sold at Exclusive Books in South Africa, the country’s quota out of a limited printing of 998 copies worldwide.“This is a book for collectors of art and rare books alike,” said Ben Williams, general manager of marketing for Exclusive Books. “It’s a gigantic publication which comes with its own beautiful wooden cradle and provides a fully immersive experience. When you open it you practically fall into the murals.”Bringing the ancient artworks to book form has been the pet project of photographer and journalist Thomas Laird, who lives in and studies Tibet. For 10 years Laird has travelled  the country to photograph spectacular Buddhist murals. Driven by fear that hidden paintings may be lost for future generations, Laird used new multi-image digital photography to record the vastness and intricacy of these spiritual expressions, described as a world heritage landmark.As the Dalai Lama says, the murals are not just objects of beauty. They serve as points of reference and guidance for practitioners of Buddhism, yoga and meditation, as well as for anyone seeking to incorporate mindfulness into their daily life. And Murals of Tibet is not just a book. It is a rare and exclusive art piece that celebrates Buddhism and Tibetan culture.Murals of Tibet by Thomas Laird, Robert Thurman, Heather Stoddard, Jakob Winkler, Shigeru Ban. Hardcover volume signed by the Dalai Lama, 50x70 cm, 498 pages, six fold-outs, with a modular book-stand designed by Shigeru Ban, plus an illustrated 528-page scholarly companion book. Limited to 998 copies. Published by Taschen.

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