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Old and new: ancient objects paired with contemporary commissions for Venice Biennale’s 2017 Iraqi pavilion

Presented by the Baghdad based Ruya Foundation, the project will span the history of artistic production in the region

The Ruya Foundation, a Baghdad-based non-governmental body, will present an exhibition featuring both ancient and contemporary works in the Iraqi pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale next year (13 May-26 November 2017).

The show will be co-curated by Tamara Chalabi, the co-founder of Ruya, and Paolo Colombo, who organised the Istanbul Biennial in 1999. Entitled Archaic, the exhibition “is the product of over two years of dialogue between Chalabi and Colombo and will feature ancient artefacts from the region alongside works of Iraqi Modernism and new commissions by Iraqi artists living both in Iraq and elsewhere,” according to a project statement.

A spokeswoman for Ruya says that details of the works will be announced at a later date. The Ruya Foundation was the commissioner of the Iraqi pavilion in 2013 and 2015.