Open 12 Dec 2020 – 22 Aug 2021
Admission was free FREE
This dual language (Arabic and English) exhibition highlighted the long-lasting impact of the past on the present. It explored how the borders of the state of Iraq were established following the First World War when British control of the region included a fascination with its ancient past – one that led to a colonisation of Mesopotamian antiquity as much as the living communities. It questioned what is meant by heritage and introduced voices and stories of people not previously visible in displays devoted to the very histories and heritage of their homelands.
The exhibition opened with a commissioned installation by the artist Piers Secunda. His powerful artwork was created from a reproduction of the Assyrian relief of a bird-headed spirit from Nimrud, Iraq, that now dominates the Museum’s Welcome Space. It acted as a metaphor for the wider destruction of individual and community identities resulting from war, colonialism, oppressive ideologies, and neglect.