Asian Surveying & Mapping
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November 9th, 2013
Unique Map Tells a Story of Its Time

In 1811 the Fra Mauro Map of the World was shipped from the island of San Michele di Murano across the Venetian lagoon to the Marciana Library. Two hundred years later I found myself on a vaporetto heading for the same library on a mission to request the loan of its most precious artefact. The Fra Mauro map, dating from the mid-15th century had never left Venice before and I was seeking to negotiate its inclusion in the major Mapping Our World exhibition now just opened at the National Library of Australia. What I was not to know on approaching the Marciana Library, having not told them explicitly of my purpose in visiting them, was that the map wasn’t there. It had, indeed for the first time, been removed from the library to travel for preservation treatment to Rome – where I had just come from. Read More