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Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph resurrected in London

posted 24 April 2016 at 18:52:04

An ancient monument from the Syrian city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been brought back to life after it was destroyed by so-called Islamic State in October 2015. In a joint project with Harvard University, Oxford University and Dubai’s Museum of the Future, the 2000 year-old Triumphal Arch from the Temple of Bel has been recreated using 3D robotic printers.

Created in Italy’s Carrara mountains by Italian company Tor Art for Oxford’s Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), the marble replica was then transported to Britain and rebuilt in London’s Trafalgar Square (shown above) in what has been described by Syria’s director of antiquities as an ‘act of solidarity’ to preserve the world’s heritage.  

With the help of thousands of 3D images of the original arch, the craftsmen have used 3D Printers and robotic tools to make scale models of the arch. The 4.5m (15ft) marble model – a 2/3 scale replica – shown here has just finished its 3-day stopover in London and will now travel to other cities around the world. The intention is for it to be taken to Palmyra next year to find a permanent home near the original arch.

The project falls under the umbrella of the Million Image Database project, which aims to capture millions of 3D images of objects for the protection and preservation of cultural sites in conflict zones throughout the Middle East and North Africa.    

Image: © Tor Art -