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Babylon: Myth and Reality

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About Babylon: Myth and Reality

Babylon was the greatest city of ancient Iraq, and its name and image have endured throughout history. This fascinating exhibition will explore both the archaeology of Babylon at its height during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC), and the rich legacy in modern art and thought inspired by the city.

Major archaeological treasures, ancient sculptures and cuneiform texts written on clay tablets will be displayed side by side with oil paintings, prints and contemporary art. The exhibition will examine our own myths and traditions about the city - such as the Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens - to uncover their origins and how we know about them.

The exhibition will conclude with a brief examination of Babylon's recent history, including its subjection to damage through modern conflict, and the importance of its protection for the future.

A full events programme including lectures, performances, workshops and films will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation
Exhibition organised by the British Museum, the Musée du Louvre and the Réunion de Musées Nationaux, Paris, and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Image caption: Glazed brick relief of a lion from Babylon's Processional Way. Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC).

On loan from the Musée du Louvre, Paris. © Photo RMN / Franck Raux.