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Getty’s first Arabic online exhibition Return to Palmyra was launched this February giving viewers an opportunity to explore the rich history of the Syrian city and discover its influential culture. Selections is providing you with a virtual access to this cultural heritage of Palmyra through a guided tour.

The exhibition includes rare 18th-century etchings by Louis-François Cassas (French, 1756-1827) and 19th-century photographs by Louis Vignes (French, 1831–96), as well as a detailed local history of Palmyra by prominent scholar Joan Aruz, Curator Emerita of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The site also includes a powerful and moving interview with Waleed Khaled al-As’ad, Director Emeritus of Antiquities and Museums at Palmyra.

Valley of the Tombs from Necropolis, Palmyra, Syria, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, 2005. C-print. 54 x 42 in. © Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. Getty Research Institute, 2017.R.21
Valley of the Tombs from Necropolis, Palmyra, Syria, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, 2005. C-print. 54 x 42 in. © Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. Getty Research Institute, 2017.R.21

By curating programs in languages reflecting the subject matter of the collections, Getty aims to provide authentic perspectives and learning experiences. With the help of a team of five Arabic scholars and specialists, who consulted at each step in the process, Getty provides comprehensive reading and viewing experiences that are consistent and engaging in both languages.

Western section of Colonnade Street, Louis Vignes, 1864. Albumen print. 8.8 x 11.4 in. (22.5 x 29 cm). Getty Research Institute, 2015.R.15
Western section of Colonnade Street, Louis Vignes, 1864. Albumen print. 8.8 x 11.4 in. (22.5 x 29 cm). Getty Research Institute, 2015.R.15

Return to Palmyra seeks to be an educational resource for Arabic speakers across the world, and play a role in enabling greater awareness of ancient Middle Eastern culture. It also aims to bring global attention to the fragile state of this historic site and to increase awareness about the city’s historic role in shaping today’s world through its cultural, economic and social impact.

The exhibition will run for three years and includes new materials from a non-Western lens by including resources from those who have not only studied the region closely, but also those who are from the region such as Waleed Al As’ad.


This information is extracted from the press release.

 

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SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

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