|Hadrian Gate of Ancient Palmyra. Photo by O.Mustafin|
In May 2015, after the extremist terrorist organization ISIS captured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, they began a campaign of destruction, including destroying precious ancient artefacts and murder. In August 2015 ISIS beheaded the famous antiquities scholar of Palmyra, Khaled al-Asaad, after he refused to tell his captors where valuable artefacts from the city were moved to for safe-keeping.
In October of 2015 the extremists blew up Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph, but that did not stop some from fighting back in an extraordinary way. A team of archaeologists from Oxford University’s Institute for Digital archaeology (IDA) was determined to recreate the arch.
Using photographs of the original arch, the reproduction is two-thirds the original size and was built from Egyptian marble using 3D technology.
Before its arrival in front of New York’s City Hall, the 11-tonne arch was first on display at London’s Trafalgar Square last April. It is scheduled to move to Dubai after spending one proud week in New York.
With its close proximity in space to the World Trade Center Memorial, and in time to the recent Chelsea bombing which injured 29 people, the arch is certainly a symbol of man’s triumph over evil.
“It is our hope that the arch, itself an icon of destruction and rebirth, will remind visitors of both the universality of suffering and the indomitable human capacity to rebuild what has been lost,” said the Executive Director of the IDA, Roger Michael.