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Andy Lowings

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 253068

Lyre of Ur Project

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The Lyre of Ur recreated from pieces found in 1929, and held in the Pennsylvania, London and Baghdad Museums (as unplayable) models.

It is approximately 4,750 years old and predates the construction of the Great Pyramid by 750 years!

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In April 2003 follwing the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and the destructive vandalism of thethe contents, including the Gold Lyre, Mr Andy Lowings announced that he would form a group to remake an authentic but playable version of the famous Harp of Ur shown above (actually technically a Lyre)

The inspiration for this came from stone carvings he viewed in the Chicago museum and a cover of Harpa magazine showing the mother of all harps dating from the time of Genesis itself!

This had not been done authentically before, using the correct original adhesives, Gulf shell and Sumerian region wood.

All existing harps held in Pennsylvania, Baghdad and London museums are, in fact, unplayable models reconstructed from bits, distributed after Leonard Woolley`s excavations in the 1930`s.

The Bull-headed harp held in the museum of Baghdad, has been well featured in the worlds press, as a result of events in Iraq. Much interest has been shown in hearing a remade and playable instrument.

This is a highly topical project. We would like to play it for you and see no reason why it should not tell its story all over the world.

  The Reconstruction Group

The skills needed for re-making this harp exist in the world today. We have asked only the very best craftsmen to assist, by donating their work. It is an important part of this project that the authenticity must reflect the antiquity of this famous harp.

We have already a list of advisors and makers who are keen to take part in the work. We can also rely on the help of the British Museum, where we are regular researchers.

The project already includes even Iraqi musicians and the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (whose brave members to this day continue to play), have contacted us.

This is a non-profit making project. It is strictly non-political.

Scene showing The Bull Harp being played. (Discovered separately at Ur in 1929). British Museum London


We feel that for this project to have maximum impact and benefits it should be completed without excess delay. We anticipate that the harp will be ready for a concert schedule by early next year at the latest.


We will perform and exhibit with this harp anywhere wherever those who would like to hear and see this true work of art shown and played, invite us.

We have already been invited to play in Cambridgeshire UK, New Mexico and Washington DC USA, Vienna Austria, London and in Dubai (UAE).

We would like to arrange a full world-tour.

The instrument will be donated, after a year of performance and exhibition to any suitable institution that we consider will continue to appreciate it and look after it safely.

The instrument is owned by the Project run by the Committee and no one person.


The project has required much time input and funds in order for it to succeed.

And indeed it runs greatly on the trust, honesty and integrity of those who give freely as much as they can, to the common aims of the project.

We have made a modest target to allow the ideas to take place.

We are financially audited and correctly constituted by Committee and seek your contribution in order to succeed.

We have an account last year with Lloyds Bank (Stamford) "Harp of UR".


We have so far had immense signs of the worthiness of the idea.

We have met in London with the Director of the British Council (Iraq) who has said they will officially collaborate with us.

We have the support of The National Association of British Arabs, which represents some 4,000 members living in Britain. And we now have a network of worldwide contacts through them.

Wood, stone and bitumen have already been sourced in Iraq by our supporters there. It has already been transported to Europe for us by the RAF and presented to us by 5131 Bomb Disposal Squad men.

We have used the kind offices of the British Museum in London for research and Archaeological consultants at the Baghdad Museum in Iraq.

It is a truly international team.

The jewellery work (in particular the Gold Bulls head) has found a student team of craftsmen in West Dean College who are authentically undertaking this commission.

We now are seeking the very best of players and performers to assist us in the presentation of this instrument as a work of art itself, but also in order to tell a story.

We have already made a CD of Ur Harp, Cello and Classical Harp using a similar instrument in a fine commission made by the 6th International Stamford Harp Festival under a grant made by the Performing Rights Association (Foundation for New Music Awards).

Mr Andy Lowings the founder has talked about the idea on Irish State Radio, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Lincs, Radio Cambs, BBC Radio Rutland, Southern Counties Radio, Central TV and to the Times of London.

We are being followed by World Satellite TV.

We have recently found other local support in the Middle East itself where the remains of the old instrument are well known. The vandalism of this instrument after recent events, has caused great sadness.
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We would like to invite you to join our team in this admirable project to bring your skills to help make it an even better success.

The project has universal appeal. It dates from a time before Islam, Christianity, Judaism and all other major religions.

Everyone in the world has a connection to this the earliest of musical sounds.

We have set ourselves modest funding targets and we feel that the instrument can create far-reaching benefits amongst the world of free-thinking musicians, craftsmen and audiences.

Andy Lowings

LLOYDS BANK "Harp of Ur" for donations
IBAN: GB39LOYD30980201472247
Sort code: 30-98-02
Account no. 01472247

15 Church St., Northborough, Peterborough PE6 9BN U.K.