Monumental sculptures of Syrian heritage at the Louvre

Monumental sculptures of Syrian heritage at the Louvre

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Are you familiar with the incredible story of the ruins of the palace of the Aramean King Kapara? Because these amazing ancient pieces nearly disappeared forever. Brought to Germany by Baron Max von Oppenheim, they were on display in an old foundry in 1930. Things took a tragic turn for them during the Second World War. A white phosphorus bomb set fire to the museum. The basalt sculptures were shattered into thousands of pieces by the thermal shock caused by the ice water sprayed by the fire brigade. 27,000 fragments were stored for 60 years. But eventually, after a decade of work beginning in the early 2000s and directed by Berlin’s Pergamonmuseum, more than 100 remarkable sculptures were reconstructed.

The Louvre Museum is showing the major monumental pieces from the collection for the first time ever in France, now through 12 August 2019. Forgotten Kingdoms: From the Hittite Empire to the Arameans is a spectacular exhibition of monumental art. The tour begins with two basalt steles standing 1.6 metres tall, designed circa 1300 BC and depicting sphinxes. A sensational and unique journey that you don’t want to miss.

Exposition « Royaumes oubliés. De l’empire hittite aux Araméens » au musée du Louvre, 2019 © Musée du Louvre. Antoine Mongodin

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