"Baghdad: A Journey Back to Madinat al-Salam, with Assassin's Creed Mirage" sheds light on a captivating historical period, a key geographical area and a brilliant civilization. Numerous exquisite artefacts from the Abbasid period are presented, some of which have not been seen for over twenty years. The objects are showcased amidst content from Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the latest video game in the series by Ubisoft. Together, they form an exhibition that reveals the splendor of a global city in its golden age.
In partnership with Ubisoft
The Abbasids had ruled the vast Islamic Empire from 750. In 762, Al-Mansûr, the dynasty's second caliph, decided to establish a new capital. He chose the site on the west bank of the River Tigris, in what is now Iraq. A majestic round city with the Caliphal Palace at its center was built. Al-Mansûr chose to call it Madinat al-Salam, the "City of Peace".
For centuries, this global city stood as a political, scientific, cultural and commercial power before it was razed to the gound by the Mongols in 1258. How to be bring back this lost city?
The exhibition offers an answer to this question by connecting historical facts and objects from the IMA's collections with content from Assassin's Creed Mirage: concept arts, video and audio extracts, images of historical characters and places featured in the game etc.
This dialogue addresses five main themes in particular: the Round City, Religions, Administration and Politics, Arts and Culture, Science and Knowledge. The exhibition also draws a parallel between the different skills that made Baghdad glorious for centuries and, those used to rebuild the lost city digitally in the video game, more than 700 years after its complete destruction.
This exhibition is an introduction to the incredible wealth of Baghdad, an invitation to step back in time, to spark the interest and curiosity of visitors, and also to break down the clichés sometimes associated with this thousand-year-old city.
In 2018, Ubisoft created a virtual reality experience based on the photogrammetry produced by Iconem. This experience was available for visitors of the exhibition "Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul", at the IMA from October 10, 2018 to February 17, 2019.
The collaboration continued with Assassin's Creed Mirage: the IMA provided Ubisoft with images of three objects from its collections - the Ruby Lustre Bowl, the Spheroconical Vessel (Chemistry Vessel) and three Mamluk Pilgrim’s Flasks - to enhance and illustrate the game's History of Baghdad feature. This rich database, co-constructed and reviewed by a panel of experts, is accessible to players as they progress through the game.
To coincide with the release of the video game in October 2023, and prior to the partnership around the exhibition "Baghdad: A Journey Back to Madinat al-Salam, with Assassin's Creed Mirage", a glimpse of the digital world of Assassin's Creed Mirage was accessible in the permanent collections of the IMA: in the aisle of the museum devoted to Arab Cities (level 4), a film specially created by Ubisoft shows the main historical sites of the city of Baghdad as recreated in the game.
Download the exhibition presentation (2.21 MB)