From Mosul to Palmyra, a virtual journey through the world's cultural heritage

Mosul, Aleppo, Palmyra, Leptis Magna – the names of these cities resonate  as symbols of the fabled cultural heritage of ancient civilisations, but also  as symbols of the wanton destruction of their vestiges by fanaticism and war. The exhibition employs state-of-the-art virtual reconstructions and spectacular animations to bring these legendary ruined cities of the ancient Arab world back to life. It invites visitors to embark on a journey through time and space into their glorious history, to witness their destruction in the recent past and to contemplate the possibility of their future reconstruction.


The itinerary takes visitors from Mosul (Iraq), the ancient city of Nineveh, via Aleppo (Syria), where successive Muslim empires from the Umayyads to the Ottomans left behind an extraordinary architectural treasure, to Leptis Magna (Libya), founded by the Phoenicians and once known as the ‘African Rome’, and, finally, to Palmyra (Syria), the legendary Graeco-Roman ‘pearl of the Orient’.


With this exhibition, the Bundeskunsthalle wants to underscore the importance of preserving this universal heritage of all humanity. ‘An exhibition that will make history heartbreakingly beautiful.


In cooperation with the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA), Paris


curator: Susanne Annen and Aurélie Clemente Ruiz, scenography and general art direction: Atelier Sylvain Roca, 3D sourcing and contents: Iconem, graphism: Dépli Design Studio, lights: Bundeskunsthalle, audio-visual engineering and production: Mardi8, films' director: Olivier Brunet, composer: Olivier Lafuma


photos: Zach Barouti, Peter-Paul Weiler.

  • Opening: August 2019
  • Location: Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany
  • Area: 1400 m2
  • Production: Bundeskunsthalle
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