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Palmyra - Loss & Remembrance

Palmyra exhibition at the Getty Villa (J. Paul Getty Museum).

From left to right: Rune Frederiksen (Head of Collections, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek), Christine Buhl Andersen (Director, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek) and Rubina Raja (Aarhus University).
From the opening of the exhibition (Photo: Rubina Raja).
One of the pieces exhibited (Photo: Rubina Raja).

On the 18th of April 2018, the special exhibition ”Palmyra – Loss & Remembrance” was opened at the Getty Villa, Los Angeles, USA. The special exhibition is a part of the reinstalled collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, which bears the title ”The Classical World in Context”, exhibited at the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Professor Rubina Raja (Aarhus University) has acted as one of the head consultants on the Palmyra exhibition, and all pieces – except for one – have been generously lent to the J. Paul Getty Museum by the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Rubina Raja’s involvement in this exhibition clearly demonstrates the international authority of the Palmyra Portrait Project (directed by Raja and funded by the Carlsberg Foundation) with respect to presenting, interpreting and disseminating Palmyrene sculpture, and the fruitful collaboration with the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, has – in large part – facilitated Raja’s research, by granting her access to the valuable collection of material and knowledge thereof, housed in Copenhagen.

The mutually beneficial association between research institutions and museums has been acknowledged and supported by the Carlsberg Foundation for years. Since 2012, the Palmyra Portrait Project has been one of the leading research-based initiatives on an international scale to study Palmyra and the Palmyrene cultural and religious sphere, as expressed mainly through its funerary portraiture. A number of publications have appeared in top-tier journals, focusing on a range of aspects, such as priests; banqueting tesserae; representations of men, women and children; and the distinct fusion of Roman and more traditional features in Palmyrene culture and society.

The knowledge and expertise in the project is in high demand by museums and collections around the world – most recently in connection with the current Palmyra exhibition at one of the world’s most visited and respected museums, the J. Paul Getty Museum.