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RecoVR: Mosul, a Collective Reconstruction

A virtual environment that brings back to life the historical collection of the Mosul Museum, raided by IS in 2014.

With more than 3,500 archeological sites, including centuries-old religious and historic excavations, Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul has the majority of the country’s archaeological wealth. On June 10, 2014, Mosul was occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Images of the destruction of historic sites and artifacts in the city’s museum made international headlines and shocked the world. RecoVR: Mosul, a Collective Reconstruction is a virtual reality installation created in response to this destruction, allowing us to visit the museum again and find out what happened to some of its key pieces. While walking through the museum we see the destroyed artifacts, digitally reconstructed through crowd-sourced imagery. This virtual environment was created by new media artists Ziv Schneider and Laura Chen. Apart from bringing the historical collection back to life, it also sheds light on ISIL’s war on cultural heritage. The project was in part inspired by the Museum of Stolen Art, an earlier virtual reality project by Schneider that will be released online soon.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond during DocLab Live: VR Cinema Showcase on Tuesday 24 November and as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Experience RecoVR: Mosul with Google Cardboard and The Economist Virtual Reality app, available on iOS and Android

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Ziv Schneider & Laura Chen
With:Project Mosul & The Economist Media Lab

Available formats