• 26.05.2022 18:00
  • 27+28.05.2022 18:00, 22:00
Chapel, 60’


In July 1967 a marble sculpture of a bull’s head – dated c. 360 BC and 33 cm in height – was excavated from the Eshmun Temple in Saida, Lebanon. At the time, four photographs of the sculpture were taken, to be included in the inventory of the excavation. The head was looted and lost during the years of the Lebanese Civil War but in July 2017, exactly fifty years after its discovery, the sculpture reappeared, now on display in the Greek and Roman galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The next day, a legal case was set in motion for its repatriation. From this starting point, The Return uses trial transcripts and a series of interviews with key witnesses to travel across the fifty years and address the troubled relationship between antiquities and national identity. Rayyane Tabet moves in a scenic space, halfway between a courtroom and an anatomical theatre, in which we are both jury and spectators. Starting from the known elements and proceeding with great lucidity, he slowly approaches the dark years at the heart of the story. For Tabet – born in Lebanon in 1983 and currently based between Beirut and San Francisco – it becomes a way to raise questions about traceability, and what it means to protect the past for a state that does not protect its present.

Presentation :
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Brigittines
Conceived, developed and performed by :
Rayyane Tabet
Production :
Acknowledgements :
Anne-Marie Afeiche, Leila Aminddoleh, Kim Benzel, Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Matthew Bogdanos, Dries Douibi, Eungie Joo, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Rolf Stucky et l’équipe du Kunstenfestivaldesarts
The Return is the project supported by :
the Friends of Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2022
Image :
Temple of Eshmun Excavation Inventory Catalogue Card No. E 912 8-12 (July 8, 1967) © Courtesy of the Office of the District Attorney of the County of New York