Exhibitions form a core component of the UNESCO Chair's work as a method for disseminating the results of our research to both academic and public audiences. Our exhibitions can be either physical displays within museums, online resources, or in most cases a combination of the two. Our exhibitions are normally the result of collaborative work with academic and professional partners and target a variety of audiences.
Below are some of our recent and significant exhibitions.
The 2015 Gorkha Earthquake was a humanitarian disaster, devastating large areas of Nepal with substantial loss of life and livelihoods. This natural disaster was also a cultural catastrophe, destroying monuments throughout Nepal, and substantially damaging structures within the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Property.
Resilience within the Rubble highlights the challenges faced during the process of clearing and reconstruction of World Heritage Sites in post-disaster situations, and the tensions raised by the obligation to ensure that the heritage that survived the earthquake is not itself irreversibly damaged through post-disaster interventions. This exhibition focuses on the continuing history of one monument - the Kasthamandap - from its origins to its collapse, and its reconstruction, with reference to photographic collections and personal testimonies from first responders, heritage professionals, the archaeological team, local communities and stakeholders.
English - https://stories.durham.ac.uk/resilience/
Nepali - भग्नावशेषबाट पुनरुत्थान (durham.ac.uk)
It is a collaborative exhibition developed by Durham University’s UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, the Department of Archaeology (Government of Nepal), the University of Stirling and Durham University’s Oriental Museum. The exhibition was curated by Prof Robin Coningham, Dr Christopher Davis, Mr Kosh Prasad Acharya, Mr Ram Bahadur Kunwar, Dr Craig Barclay, Mrs Rachel Barclay, Ms Anie Joshi, Mr Kai Weise, Mrs Aruna Nakarmi and Prof Ian Simpson. The online exhibition was developed with support from Mr David Wright.
The ancient cities and monuments of the Taxila Valley form a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pakistan. The focus of excavations by the British archaeologist, Sir John Marshall in the early 20th century, these investigations were recorded in a detailed photographic archive.
This exhibition focuses on the ancient site of Taxila, around 32 kilometres from Pakistan’s federal capital, Islamabad. Taxila, translated by many as ‘city of cut stone’, was a cosmopolitan settlement and a major trading hub. Mentioned in the ancient South Asian epic, the Ramayana, and early Buddhist and Jain traditions, Taxila was one of the ancient capitals of Gandhara, an important territory stretching between the Oxus and Indus Rivers. A revered place of education, it flourished for centuries, benefitting from the flow of goods, ideas and faiths that travelled along the famed Silk Roads.
This exhibition is a collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Pakistan; the Oriental Museum at Durham University and the UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage.
Champaner is walled medieval city located at the base of Pavagadh hill in Gujarat, India, located 50 kilometres east of Vadodara. Champaner-Pavagadh and its monuments were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. These monuments include mosques, temples and parts of a royal palace as well as unexcavated archaeological remains. The city is still inhabited and continues to alter its landscape to accommodate the thriving population in and around the fortification. This exhibition displays reproductions of some of these original photographs from Durham’s collections alongside contemporary images taken at the site in 2019. They document the restoration and conservation measures performed on the monuments and afford us the opportunity to understand how these monuments have changed over the last 100 years.
This exhibition is a joint collaboration between the UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and the University of Allahabad. Funding for the project was provided by the United Kingdom India Education Research Initiative and University Grants Commission.
This exhibition contextualises the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, detailing the damage to cultural property in Kathmandu, and responses to the cultural disaster. It also raises serious questions regarding the legal protection afforded to the debris from monuments after their destruction, and the future challenges for Kathmandu as people look to rebuild their city.
This exhibition outlines the results of the collaborative and interdisciplinary fieldwork undertaken in the hinterland of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka between 2004 and 2009.
This exhibition outlines the work undertaken during the collaborative fieldwork at Charsadda, Pakistan between 1995 and 1996.