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Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq
Opens April 8, 2017
Nimrud. Aleppo. Palmyra. Ebla. These ancient sites and many others in Iraq and Syria have found their way to the top of international news today, as the destruction of cultural heritage becomes both a by-product and a tactic of ongoing war.
This new exhibition, created in conjunction with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, sheds light on the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake—the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people—and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity. Fascinating ancient art and artifacts from the Penn Museum’s extensive Near East collection tell stories of the cultures of Syria and Iraq through time. Contemporary artwork from Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist based in Cambridge, UK, provides an art intervention—a modern-day response to the artifacts and themes. The exhibition features the important work being done by the University of Pennsylvania and Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with individuals and groups in the Middle East to help combat the loss of irreplaceable cultural heritage.
Exhibition Opening CeremonySaturday, April 8, 2017
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
For the public opening, guests are invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony for Cultures in the Crossfire at 11:00 a.m. The day includes a traditional music concert from the region presented by the Al Bustan Takht Trio at 1:00 pm, talks by exhibition curators and Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj, a drumming workshop, calligraphy demonstrations, and crafts for families.
Free with Museum general admission.
Partners for the day include:
Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories From Syria and Iraq is made possible with support from Frederick J. Manning, W69, and the Manning Family; the Susan Drossman Sokoloff and Adam D. Sokoloff Exhibitions Fund; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.