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City hosts sound of the stone age.

Byline: By CATHERINE JONES Culture Reporter

A RECREATION of the oldest stringed instrument in the world will be on showat Liverpool Cathedral thisweekend.

TheGold Lyre ofUrwas discovered in Iraq by archaeologists in 1929.

It was looted from Baghdad Museum during the 2003 invasion. But artists and craftsmen in theUKwere inspired to recreate an authentic playable replica.

Experts from Liverpool University's Lairdside laser engineering centre (LLEC) helped recreate the instrument.

Now five years of work is complete and the replica lyre will be in the city this weekend at an international congress organised by the university for classical academics.

It will also be on show at Liverpool Cathedral on Saturday morning and will be played at 11.30am.

Civil engineer and harpist Andy Lowings, who led moves to create the new lyre, said: "It's an instrument which is older than Stonehenge and pre-dates the Pyramids."

The Gold Lyre of Ur dates from 4,500 years ago, from an area of Mesopotamia - now Iraq, Iran and Syria. It was last heard in Ur, the birthplace of Abraham.

The recreated lyre was made with the help of authentic cedar wood donated by Muslim Aid in Baghdad and brought back to Britain by the RAF.

The replica is on showas part of the Classical Association's annual conference, with Liverpool chosen as the venue because of its Capital of Culture status.

catherinejones@liverpoolecho.co.uk

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SOUND: The replica of the ancient Gold Lyre of Ur
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2008
Words:242
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