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"Mediterranean Encounters," an exhibition of photos by Francesco Ferla, aims to promote cultural dialogue today by looking at the harmonious Arab-Norman past of Sicily. On show at Beit Beirut, and supported by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Embassy, his 25 photos capture nine civil and religious structures in Palermo.All these works of Arab-Norman architecture – two palaces, three churches, three cathedrals (including those of Cefalu and Monreale) and a bridge – date from 1130-1194, when Normans ruled Sicily. The blending of faiths and cultures can be seen in the buildings' stones, with churches decorated with arabesque arches and eight-pointed star patterns.Ferla used a combination of unadulterated photography and digital postproduction to highlight certain aspects of the structures.Ferla started researching Palermo's architectural history in order to find the right buildings in 2013, and finalized his photos in 2017 .
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