Cite this exhibition
Exhibition URL: www.getty.edu/palmyra
Cite this page
Terpak, Frances; Bonfitto, Peter Louis, The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra, Palmyra in the Modern Era, accessed , https://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/palmyra/palmyra_today.html
Early pictorial works featuring Palmyra, like those of Cassas and Vignes, combined with the rise of travel descriptions by amateurs, increasingly inspired explorers and scholars in the late 19th century to travel across the desert to the ancient caravan city. As tourist photographs of the site began to circulate more widely, so did Palmyra's artifacts, especially the famous funerary portrait busts (some of which are featured in this exhibition). Today, one can see thousands of Palmyrene antiquities outside the region: in American, Western European, Russian, and Turkish museums that had been secured during the late Ottoman rule (1876–1922) and subsequently during the French Mandate (1923–46). Debate still persists about the collecting practices of this period, characterized negatively as colonialist or state-sanctioned looting on the one hand, and positively as a means to preserve and disseminate knowledge about the past on the other.