Mesopotamia Closing Soon

Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World
Critically acclaimed exhibition highlighting ancient Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon CLOSES at the ROM on January 5, 2014

(Toronto, Ontario, November 28, 2013)  - The critically acclaimed Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World, presented by RSA Insurance, closes at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Sunday, January 5, 2014.

 Many aspects of the world in which we live originated in Mesopotamia more than 3,000 years ago. Home to the world’s first great cities, “the [land] between the Rivers” was the birthplace of writing, codified laws, urban planning, long-distance trade, empire-building, and beer, among numerous other enduring innovations. In collaboration with the British Museum, ROM Ancient Cultures explores this legacy of Mesopotamia through a remarkable selection of artifacts—most never before seen in Canada.

With approximately 170 artifacts drawn from the collections of the British Museum in addition to those of the ROM, the University of Chicago Oriental Institute Museum, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, Mesopotamia presents the rare opportunity to see these priceless objects in one location. In addition to the stunning artifacts, exhibition highlights include a unique fly-through 3-D re-creation of the mysterious city of Babylon.

Throughout the exhibition’s engagement, inspired events have offered opportunities for the entire family to delve deeper into the ancient culture – from Archaeology Days to scholarly lectures. This insightful  programming continues as the exhibition draws to a close. On December 4, en français, University of Toronto professor Paul-Alain Beaulieu speaks on Regard de l'historien sur la chute de Babylone en 539 avant notre èreOn December 10, Syria Today: Humanitarian Crisis and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage presents Dr. Clemens Reichel, University of Toronto professor and ROM curator and Stephen Cornish, Canadian Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as they address the ongoing human and cultural tragedy in Syria. This special evening is FREE with pre-registration absolutely required. On December 12, Dr. Richard Zettler, of the University of Pennsylvania, addresses Old Excavations and New Tricks: Rediscovering the Royal Cemetery of Ur.

The ROM’s engagement of Mesopotamia is complemented by Catastrophe! Ten Years Later: The Looting and Destruction of Iraq’s Past.  Through text and images, the display examines the looting of Baghdad’s Iraq Museum in April 2003 during the Iraq war. Priceless antiquities were stolen or destroyed, devastating one of the world’s most important museums of ancient culture. An extensive database, accessible to international researchers, had been developed and maintained by the museum. The destruction of these records was devastating to world scholarship. Looting was not confined to this one site. During the Iraq war, numerous of the country’s archaeological sites were ransacked with artifacts either stolen or destroyed.  Developed by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Catastrophe! also closes on January 5, 2014.

Special holiday extended hours during the Museum’s annual ROM for the Holidays (RFTH) allow more visitors to enjoy Mesopotamia and Catastrophe! prior to the exhibitions closing. From December 27 to January 4, the ROM will open from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm. During this time period, general admission is reduced after 4:30pm: Adults: $10; Seniors/Students: $9; Children: $7. A separate admission fee applies to enjoy Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World. Please see website for full details. The ROM is closed on December 25 and closes at 5:30 pm on December 26 and on January 5. Last entry to Mesopotamia is always 1.5 hours before Museum closing.


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