Tuesday, September 20, 2016


AS diplomats from around the world converge on New York today for the United Nations General Assembly, a work of ancient Roman architecture from the Syrian site of Palmyra has risen in replica in City Hall Park. 

It replicates an icon of the ancient city that was destroyed by ISIS, and symbolizes a call for global efforts to preserve cultural heritage.

The Institute for Digital Archeology (IDA), which resides at the University of Oxford, erected the arch, which stands about 25 feet tall and weighs nearly 30,000 pounds. 

It was made from Egyptian marble by craftsmen in Italy.

Earlier this year the two-thirds scale replica was erected in  TRAFALGAR SQUARE in London and also stood in Dubai.

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."

When Antinous saw Palmyra in ancient times, this arch was the formal entryway into the oasis city which was one of the most wondrous marvels of Ancient Syria.

He arrived with Hadrian to be initiated into Mithras Mysteries 1,900 years ago and most certainly entered the city through this arch.

Palmyra was called the "Garden City of the Sands" and scientists say it was TERRA-FARMED to create a lush green oasis of life and civilization in the midst of the desert.

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