Palmyra. Probably the most beautiful ancient setting of Syria, becomes the sad example of a threatened World Heritage Site. In recent years, the terrorists of the Daesh destroyed the formerly magnificent ruins. How do we deal with the destruction of cultural heritage? And how can we experience history when the original is no longer there? These were the questions asked by the exhibition »Rebuild Palmyra?«. The exhibition was developed in cooperation with the »Office for Schools, Education and Science« of the city of Konstanz.
Idea: In a staged space, perspectives, colours, spatial graphics, digital surfaces and materials form a unit; in their overall effects, staged spaces become impressive information and experience worlds. The exhibition »Rebuild Palmyra?« was intended to make the history of the city, including its destruction, interactively experienceable in a new and dissociated way. The complex topic becomes tangible in the third dimension due to the exhibition’s expansive approach.
Solution: As soon as you are confronted with the destruction of cultural heritage, most of us often sense a helpless weight. A gravity that is promoted by the fact that we cannot formulate a response to such a complex question. The exhibition "Rebuild Palmyra?" was conceived as a tool to help the ignorant visitor develop a decision-making and assessment competence.
Exhibition rooms: In the first exhibition room, visitors find themselves in a leafy forest of newspaper articles and get an impression of what has been reported in recent years in the international media about the destruction of Palmyra.
In the second room, visitors will learn more about the history of Palmyra. On a timeline they can see how the oasis city is growing from the traditional nomad meeting place to the trading capital of antiquity. At listening stations residents of Palmyra tell of their lives. Tablets allow visitors to access in-depth background knowledge. An interactive wall shows clearly how luxury goods were traded globally.
At a media table, visitors can interactively accompany the urban development of Palmyra through the ages; they decide for themselves how fast they move through the epochs.
In the third room, the buildings blasted by the Daesh are staged as a 3D print over a room-filling satellite image. AR offers visitors the opportunity to reconstruct the buildings three-dimensionally, either back to the state before they were destroyed by the Daesh, or to the original state of the ancient splendor buildings. Binoculars with 360-degree panoramas offer the possibility of a virtual ascent of Palmyra.
In the fourth room visitors are asked to take a stand themselves. Should Palmyra be rebuilt and if so, in what condition? Visitors will be shown various possibilities of reconstruction. Comments from various experts provide help in finding solutions.