A SOAS Centenary Exhibition: The Everlasting Flame, Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination

Date: 19 March 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Finishes: 31 May 2016
Time: All Day
Venue: National Museum, New Delhi
Type of Event: Exhibition

Closed: Mondays

Everlasting Flame, Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination takes the visitor on a journey from the earliest days of the religion to its emergence as the foremost religion of imperial Iran culminating with the empire of the Sasanians. From the shores of Iran to the west coast of India the maritime journey of Zoroastrians is followed to their settlement in India, where they came to be known as the Parsis, and examines their growth as an immigrant community under British colonial rule and the later expansion of the modern diaspora.
Through a collection of over 300 objects, visitors will be introduced to a fascinating and diverse collection of artefacts, texts, paintings and textiles. These are displayed alongside spectacular installations that include a walk-in fire temple and a ten-metre glass etching based on the British Museum’s cast of the western staircase from the palace of Darius at Persepolis.
Ten stories within the overall historical narrative explore the ways in which Zoroastrianism has been imagined through the art, iconography and literature of non-Zoroastrians down the ages. Artefacts, coins and silverware introduce the ancient and imperial periods of Iranian Zoroastrian history.

Further information on exhibition content: 2013 Exhibition Website


  • Hosted by the National Museum, New Delhi
  • Sponsored by The Ministry for Minority Affairs (MOMA), Government of India
  • Designed by Colin Morris Associates (CMA)

Curated by Sarah Stewart, Shernaz Cama, Ursula Sims-Williams, Firoza Punthakey Mistree, Almut Hintze, Pheroza Godrej

The exhibition forms part of the Everlasting Flame Programme of events organized by UNESCO Parzor. Patron: Lord Karan Bilimoria


Everlasting Flame, Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination was originally produced at SOAS and shown at the Brunei Gallery from October 2013 – December 2013 under the Patronage of Maestro Zubin Mehta and leadership of Director and Principal of SOAS, Professor Paul Webley. It was made possible through the generous sponsorship and provision of core funding by the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE).

  • Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), Aequa Foundation
  • Dr Cyrus Poonawalla principal sponsor (India), TATA Enterprises
  • Mr Farrokh Kavarana, Mr Vahid Alaghband, Mr Zarir Cama
  • California Zoroastrian Center, The Farhangi Foundation, Dr Abtin Sassanfar
  • Iran Heritage Foundation, British Institute of Persian Studies
  • Soudavar Memorial Foundation, Mr Pallonji Mistry
  • The Bombay Parsi Punchayet, Erach Roshan Sadri Foundation
  • Ms Vika Irani, Mr Vahid Kooros

Organiser: National Museum, New Delhi, UNESCO Parzor and SOAS, University of London
Contact email:
Sponsor: The Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), Government of India

Published on SOAS

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