Albert Kahn was a rich French banker and lover of culture and art. At the first glance, he had a crazy vision. Apparently, he wanted to create a photographic “archive of the planet”. After seeing the photos below, you cannot disagree that he succeeded in his mission. Kahn traveled the world and collected 72,000 photographs. He was a philanthropist and his interest in other peoples’ lives is easily visible on the photos he collected. After visiting Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Sweden, Morocco, Egypt, Japan and 50 other countries, his collection is exhibited in Musee Albert-Khan in Paris. These photos are some of the first colored pictures made using the Lumière brothers’ innovative Autochrome process.
Since most of the photos are from the Balkans, BBC made a documentary about the importance of these photographs. They are testimonials about the diversity of ethnical communities, identities expressed through religious beliefs. After the Balkan wars, the map of Balkans have changed and these photos saved some of the cultural identities before this historical period.
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For more photos and extended story check here.