The devastated Old Bridge in Mostar, declared as UNESCO national heritage 10 years ago, will be the part of the Imperial War Museum’s new exhibition which will be opened on July 5th.
From the Nazi theft of art and the bombing of Coventry Cathedral to the destruction by ISIS of objects from Mosul Museum in Iraq, war devastates lives, kills people and destroys the cultural heritage that they hoped would outlive them. Sometimes destruction is accidental, but often our cherished places, objects and stories are deliberately targeted in conflict.
What Remains, the new exhibition at IWM London, in partnership with Historic England, explores why cultural heritage is attacked during war and the ways we save, protect and restore what is targeted.
Over 50 photographs, oral histories, objects and artworks will be on display, from both IWM and Historic England’s collections.
Destroying cultural heritage often strikes at the heart of our communities. What Remains highlights historic and contemporary moments where places, art and artefacts have been attacked by those who wish to exploit or even erase whole civilizations from history.
Spanning 100 years, discover stories such as Hitler’s Baedeker Raids in 1942, where German bombers targeted historic towns and cities noted in travel guides of Britain, and the Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.
Just as cultural heritage is attacked, it is also bravely protected, restored, or rebuilt into new forms that let us commemorate and reflect on loss. Learn about individuals and groups who risk their lives to protect culture, including Khaled al-Asaad, who died trying to protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra, Syria, from ISIS in 2015.
The exhibition will be opened on July 5thand will last until January 5thin Imperial War Museums in London.
The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed.
The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.