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Faces of Ancient Palmyra

Palmyrene funerary portraits offer an intimate glimpse into an ancient culture and reveal how its diverse inhabitants wanted to be remembered. In this video, scholars of Palmyra's art and archaeology explain why the need to protect and study these sculptures helps to preserve the legacy of this Syrian city.
Runtime: 7 min.

The Palmyra Portrait Project: Preserving Cultural Heritage in a Time of Conflict

The funerary monuments of Palmyra, Syria, constitute the single largest group of portraits that have survived from an ancient city within the Roman Empire. In this talk, archaeologist Rubina Raja discusses the unique funerary portrait tradition of ancient Palmyra and the recent looting and destruction of its monuments resulting from the Syrian war.
Runtime: 62 min.

Palmyra and Aleppo: Syria's Cultural Heritage in Conflict

Recent political unrest in Syria has progressed into a devastating conflict that has targeted and looted heritage sites, most notably the ancient caravan city of Palmyra. In the battle for Aleppo, a bombing campaign and street-by-street fighting have effectively leveled one of the oldest, continuously populated, and architecturally rich cities in the world. A panel of specialists discusses the unfolding consequences of war on historic sites and monuments throughout the region.
Combined runtime: 163 min.

Designing Getty Research Institute's First Online Exhibition

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and web designers Masato Nakada and Karen To Nakada discuss the challenges of bringing 18th-century prints and 19th-century photographs into a digital environment as part of Getty Research Institute's first online exhibition. Rare collection materials that inspired the online design are presented.
Runtime: 13 min.

French 18th-Century Artist Travels from Istanbul to Egypt

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto presents the rarely seen images of a three-year diplomatic voyage to the Ottoman court undertaken by artist and architect Louis-François Cassas (French, 1756–1827) beginning in 1784. Cassas created hundreds of detailed drawings of ancient monuments; a rare and significant collection of these proof prints are part of the Research Institute's collections.
Runtime: 15 min.

Lady Strangford's Travel Account of Crossing the Syrian Desert

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and art historian Jane Friedman look at the 19th-century travel account of Emily Anne Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, who undertook a two-year expedition through the Middle East. Her illustrated description provided a vicarious adventure and sought to assure individuals—particularly women—that travel could be performed with "ease and security" in the region.
Runtime: 15 min.