The exhibition entitled "MILLENNIA FOR TODAY. Archeology against War: yesterday's Urkesh in today's Syria", that will be presented at the Meeting for friendship among peoples 2018, displays a dialogue. The dialogue between archaeologists and local communities, united by the desire to seek a shared past which will contribute to the creation of the basis for a peaceful civil coexistence and the promotion of the territory in which the archaeological sites are located.
The case of Tell Mozan, the modern name of the ancient city of Urkesh, in Syria, is presented as a paradigmatic model: thanks to a collaboration that has been going on for over thirty years, today the activities on the site not only continue, but they even developed in the most recent years assuming unexpected forms. Even during the war, local communities reacted by getting together – yet maintaining their different ethnic, historical, social and religious backgrounds – thus laying the foundations for what could be a new positive development in the post-war period.
The monumental staircase at Urkesh..
..welcomes the vitality of the Syrian children
The various spaces of the exhibition will be introduced by the verses written by the father of one of our collaborators, the Syrian poet Adel Mahmoud. These panels aim to encourage visitors to a moment of reflection, and introduce them to the different topics covered in each section.
Accompanied by the guides, visitors will pass through a dynamic, constantly changing space made of lights, colors and materials – just as Urkesh has constantly changed over the centuries, while still remaining the same.. The multiform nature of the archaeological site will be made evident by the texts, the displayed objects, by four videos that illustrate different aspects of ancient and modern Urkesh, as well as by the numerous photos that accompany the entire itinerary. And the vitality of the site will particularly be evident through the encounter with the faces and voices of the kids involved in the School Project, "present" in their own way through images and texts, and through the words of the young collaborators of the Tell Mozan/Urkesh archaeological project, who will be in Rimini to bring their testimony to those who will visit the exhibition.
There will also be the space for a pause and a profound reflection, accompanied by the music written specifically for this event by the students of Domodossola who are involved in the School Project. It will be a counterpoint to the video of an extraordinary concert held by the children and young Syrians of the Roj Ava Orchestra, on the steps of the staircase leading to the temple of Urkesh: life continues to resound among the ancient monuments of the city!
With this exhibition, we want to convey a message of hope: fully aware of the difficulty of these days, eager to help the Syrian people to express its pride in a land so rich in history and beauty, and with the confidence that one day we will return to resume a dialogue that never really got interrupted, and which has found over the last few years new ways to express itself.