Tuesday, April 19, 2016


NOW you can see a triumphal arch through which Antinous and Hadrian strode in the ancient city of Palmyra … recreated in the heart of London.

The arch from a Palmyra temple destroyed by DAESH Islamic State barbarians was recreated (in two-thirds scale) in London's Trafalgar Square ... where it will remain for three days before traveling to Dubai and to Times Square in New York City ... as part of UNESCO World Heritage WeekApril 2016.

The 2,000-year-old arch was all that remained of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May.

It was recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer.

It was crafted from carrara marble and then shipped in pieces to London.

The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage.

DAESH militants have ransacked and demolished several similar ancient sites to Palmyra that pre-date Islam in Iraq, denouncing them as symbols of "idolatry".

Alexy Karenowska, from the Institute of Digital Archaeology, which is behind the project, says she hopes it will help people understand how important it is to preserve cultural sites in war-torn countries such as Syria.

She says: "People say, 'should we be worrying about this stuff when human lives are being lost?'

"Of course all of this stuff takes second place to human life, but these cultural objects are very important to give a sense of place and community."

The installation was created off-site and then assembled at Trafalgar Square.

It stands next to the National Gallery and Nelson's Column, both Neo-Classical in style.

The famous 15m (50ft) arch also illustrates Britain and Syria's shared heritage, with the Greco-Roman architecture of Palmyra echoed by the neoclassical buildings of the National Gallery and Nelson's Column.

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