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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

A Museum in Baghdad

Royal Shakespeare Theatre / Stratford-upon-Avon / Stage

Two women. One a bluestocking British explorer and archaeologist, Gertrude Bell, who in 1926 fought for the founding of The Iraq Museum in Baghdad. The other an Iraqi-British archaeologist, Ghalia Hussein, who in 2006 fought to reopen that very same museum, looted during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Their stories, separated by 80 years, are presented somewhat simultaneously in Hannah Khalil’s new play. Lauded for “haunting projections” and “compelling scene changes,” the play perhaps takes on too many issues (Imperialism, colonialism, feminism). But it is certainly timely, given the continuing destruction of art and artifacts in the Near and Middle East. —L.J.

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Royal Shakespeare Theatre Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB, United Kingdom
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