The Arab World Institute in Paris previewed on Tuesday a remarkable exhibition that takes the viewer on a virtual reality tour of Greco-Roman sites from Syria’s Palmyra to Iraq’s Mosul.
“Age Old Cities” brings to life four symbolic cities of the Ancient Arab world: Mosul in northern Iraq, Aleppo in northwestern Syria, Palmyra in central Syria and Leptis Magna in northwestern Libya, in a virtual reality tour that uses cutting-edge technology to recreate the wonders of times past.
“The names resonate as symbols of a mythical ancient heritage and of brilliant civilizations, but also as so many martyred sites, disfigured by recent conflicts and the madness of a few fanatics,” the exhibition organizers said in a statement.
The curator of the exhibition told EFE that the point of the show was to shed light on the Arab heritage that is at risk of destruction and has already suffered significant damage.
“The aim of the exhibition is to immerse the public in the splendors of these major centers of world heritage, but also to raise awareness about the stakes involved in preserving and protecting these precious and fragile riches,” the Arab World Institute said on the exhibition website.
Of all the ancient cities showcased in the exhibition Leptis Magna, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the only one that remains undamaged by the conflicts that haunt the region.
Thanks to the use of sophisticated CGI technology and virtual reality headsets, the ancient treasures are brought to life through 10 videos that immerse the viewer in a panoramic experience that exposes the beauty of the ancient cities and the rich architecture and culture prevalent in the Arab World.
“Age Old Cities” runs from Oct. 10, 2018 to Feb. 10, 2019 at The Arab World Institute in the French capital Paris.