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History & Heritage


Exhibition: 3 cities in the Arab World you can discover through VR

The installation “Cities of the Millennium: Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul,” created by the Arab World Institute (AWI) in Paris in collaboration with Ubisoft, ICONEM and in partnership with UNESCO. Its’ launch in 2018-2019 in Paris garnered great feedback, currently leading to its’ second showing at the National Museum of Asian Art in Washington.

Never before has an AWI exhibition crossed the ocean to the United States. Running from January 25th to October 25th, 2020, the immersive and interactive exhibition “Millennium Cities: Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul” introduces Americans to the cities of Palmyra, Aleppo and Mosul. 



Digital Rebirth 

This collaboration between IMA, Ubisoft, ICOCEM and UNESCO will utilize state-of-the-art technologies to resurrect these three world heritage sites, sadly ravaged by war and terrorist acts. Thanks to the large-scale projection of next-level drone images captured, later reconstructed in 3D, visitors literally fly over the three cities from a great distance. After getting closer to what resembles the current state of Mosul, Iraq, the buildings rise from the ashes to virtually regain their original form. 



As a nod to the technical know-how of the teams in charge of the project, the experience has just been selected as a #TechForGood innovation at the Vivatech inaugural conference, hosted by UNESCO.

This opening in Washington, in one of the Smithsonian Institution museums, lies within the IMA’s broader, innovative international strategy which seeks to relay its’ exhibitions all over the world, from Brazil to Singapore, or Germany and even Saudi Arabia. The aim is to include a widespread audience, such as the exhibition Treasures of Islam in Africa, presented at the Mohammed VI Museum in Rabat, which already drew in 50,000 visitors.

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Published on 9 March 2020