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Arti, the Camel

1.  Because the ancient Arabs believed that the arts served God, they raised small scale artistries to new levels of perfection. Glassware, ceramics, and textile weaves attest to their imagination and special skills. They covered walls and objects with intricately detailed mosaics, tiles, carvings, and paintings. Syrian beakers and rock crystals were in great demand in Renaissance Europe.

2.  They were masters of silk weaving, and the Arab cape worn by Sicily's King Robert II on his coronation is one of the best examples of this delicate art. Cotton muslin, Damask linen and Shiraz wool became watchwords for quality in textiles in Europe.

3. One considers Moroccan leather to be of particularly fine quality. The Moroccan tanners of the Middle Ages developed methods for tanning hides almost to the softness of silk, and they used vegetable dyes that retained color indefinitely. These leathers were used for bookbindings, and the gold tooling and colored panels of the Arab style are still being produced, particularly in Venice and Florence to the present day.