In Aquileia first exhibition on Palmyra after destruction

'Faces of Palmyra in Aquileia' exhibition opens in Aquileia. It is the first exhibition in Europe on the city of Palmyra after the destruction by Isis.

The exhibition Faces of Palmyra in Aquileia opens Sunday, July 2, at the National Archaeological Museum in Aquileia(Udine province). This is the first exhibition in Europe on the Syrian city since the devastation by Isis jihadists. On display are archaeological finds preserved in several museums(Vatican Museums, Capitoline Museums, Museum of Civilizations-Collections of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci” in Rome, Museum of Ancient Sculpture “Giovanni Barracco” in Rome, Civico Museo Archeologico in Milan, Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem) and from Palmyra: sixteen pieces in all, some of them brought together for the first time since their dispersal, joining eight additional finds from the ancient city of Aquileia instead. The purpose of the exhibition is to show the cultural continuity between Palmyra and Aquileia despite the great distance between the two cities. The exhibition will also be an opportunity for a restoration of artifacts from the Jerusalem museum.

The exhibition is also meant to be a moment of insight into a city devastated by war and terrorism, and there will be no shortage of remembrance of Khaled al-Asaad, the director of the Palmyra archaeological site who was murdered by Isis. “Wars and natural devastation,” the presentation reads, “have destroyed, sometimes obliterated, the architecture, art and artistic artifacts of the world’s peoples of all times. The memory of the World War II bombings that inflicted deep wounds on the architecture and art of our country and all of Europe still burns. But never had we seen, never had we witnessed, in recent times, the systematic attempt to annihilate the other, through the destruction of its culture, its heritage, the most distant and profound vestiges that have made us what we are and what we think, in an attempt to implement a ”cultural cleansing,“ as Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, defines it, mirroring the worst ethnic cleansing.”

The exhibition is curated by Marta Novello and Cristiano Tiussi and has received the patronage of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The National Communications Foundation, Danieli Group, Friulana Gas, Cassa Rurale Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Confindustria Udine contributed to the realization. The exhibition will run until October 3, 2017. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Full ticket 6 euros, reduced 3 euros.

The main event is also accompanied by a collateral exhibition, also from July 2 to Oct. 3, 2017: it is Glimpses on Palmyra, which displays photographs by Elio Ciol taken on March 29, 1996 during a visit to the city. The subjects of the photographs are architecture and sculptures, captured in the immediacy typical of the style of this important artist, one of the leading photographers on the national scene, best known for his shots depicting landscapes and architecture.

“The subjects,” writes art historian Fulvio Dell’Agnese, “are architectures and sculptures, markers of centuries-old permanence contemplated by a gaze that respects them as works of art, but at the same time recomposes and makes their geometries its own in the metaphysical freedom of chiaroscuro, projecting them against looming ashen skies. The thickening of an omen? The fact is that the monuments are filmed a few years - instants, in historical terms - before their return to an entirely everyday fragility, victims of the opaque violence of a destructive bestiality.”

The exhibition of Elio Ciol’s photographs is held at the new spaces of the Domus and Episcopal Palace in Chapter Square: twenty unpublished shots are on display. Free admission, open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Image: the Arch of Septimius Severus in Palmyra before destruction. Credit

In Aquileia first exhibition on Palmyra after destruction
In Aquileia first exhibition on Palmyra after destruction

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