Rijksmuseum van Oudheden Leiden

Nineveh, Heart of an Ancient Empire - exhibition design

The exhibition Nineveh, Heart of an Ancient Empire takes you back to the heyday of the New Assyrian capital in what is now northern Iraq, around 700 BC. Nineveh was then the largest city in the world. The exhibition shows about 250 objects from Dutch and international museums such as the Louvre and the British Museum. Of particular interest are the large reliefs from the city palaces and the reconstruction of one of the rooms in the palace of King Sennacherib.

Nineveh is a very complex exhibition with many contextual perspectives. Special attention is given to destructions, reconstructions and preservation of such vulnerable material heritage in our times.

The scenography is as diverse as the content, to give the visitor some visual guidance. The large hall gives the visitor a sense of the splendour of the old Kingdoms and the amazing stories that are captured in the reliefs, in spite of them being fragmented and quite illegible for the amateur’s eye. We used illustrations and 3D virtual reality features to complete what is missing and broken.

The exhibition was awarded ‘Exhibition of the Year’ 2017 of Museumtijdschrift.

In cooperation with Jos Stoopman (graphics)
Photography by Bas Czerwinski and Sarah Dona
Delivery 2017
Trailer by Rijksmuseum van Oudheden