Another note to the reader

2020

In 1989, a conservator at the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum opened a number of boxes that had been in storage for decades. The boxes were all labelled North American Leaves. And when she opened the boxes, she was stunned to find that each leaf in each box was in the process of being eaten by a leaf-eating insect. Moreover, the insects were carving very specific forms into the leaves. Trained in Islamic Art, the conservator immediately realized that these might be the Ottoman Iznik motifs that had gone missing during WWI. She reached out to Turkish officials who sent a team of experts to examine
the insects, the motifs, and the leaves. Thirty years later, their findings are still pending. And as far as we know, no conclusion has been reached about how the insects got into the boxes, let alone how the insects did what they did.