On June 15, 2023, the Open Jerusalem and Archival City projects presented the first 3D model App of the Maghrebi Quarter in Jerusalem. Located in front of the Western Wall, the Maghrebi Quarter, was founded in 1187 to house North African Muslim pilgrims. The neghborhood was erased by Israeli bulldozers during the night between June 10 and 11, 1967, at the end of the Six-Day War. Few hours before the destruction, the Israeli army had expelled the around 1,000 inhabitants of the Maghrebi Quarter.
The unfolded history of this neighborhood was reconstructed by the Open Jerusalem and Vincent Lemire in his recent book «In the Shadow of the Wall» (French and English edition by Seuil and Stanford University Press, forthcoming in Arabic and Hebrew), engaging archival documentation and testimonies of former residents and looks to recent archaeological digs that have resurfaced household objects buried during the destruction.
The just released 3D model App, available in iOS, Android and GL stores, allows users an immersive experience across the streets, mosques, schools, and courtyards of the Maghrebi quarter. The App gathers the Maghrebi Quarter now-scattered documentation in Ottoman archives in Istanbul and Israeli state archives, in the archives of Muslim pious foundations in Jerusalem, in French diplomatic archives and the Red Cross in Geneva.
As Vincent Lemire, director of the Open Jerusalem and Archival City projects composed by more than 60 scholars (www.openjerusalem.org), highlights, «the 3D model application represents a tool for all users to discover the untold history one of the most identifiable places in the world—yet one of the most occluded in history».
The 3D model was created in collaboration with the Italy-based 3D Research agency and the Center for Research on Digital Humanities at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The App will be enriched by further archival documentation, archeological data and oral testimonies in the incoming months.
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