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Replica of Palmyra's Triumphal arch erected in London

A replica of Palmyra's Arch of Triumph, which was destroyed by ISIS terrorists in Palmyra [Tadmor] in Syria last year, has been erected in London's Trafalgar Square as an act of solidarity with Syria to raise awareness of the fight to safeguard its ancient treasure.

The scale model of the 2000-year-oldTriumphal arch has been reconstructed by experts from Oxford's Institute of Digital Archeology (IDA) using 3-D printing technology and photographs of the original, CNN reported Wednesday.

It quoted the GDAM Director General Maamoun Abdoulkarim, who was in London to watch the arch being installed, as saying: "Palmyra is not for the Syrian people, it is for all the people in the world. it was a "double happiness" to see the arch unveiled after the liberation of Palmyra three weeks ago."

Abdulkarim: we were alone all the time

He added: "As archaeologists working in Syria, we've saved 99 museum collections, but we were alone all the time. What we need now is the international community to move to help us, through solidarity, feeling and technical help."

Abdulkarim indicated that after its tour, the arch will be placed in the square of Palmyra's modern city where his colleague, Khalid al-As'aad was beheaded by ISIS terrorists last August after he refused to reveal the location of hidden artifacts.

"It's a message and gift to the Syrian people...We can never have the same image we had before ISIS, but we need to do the best work we can to show the maximum through restoration," he asserted.

Social value

IDA Director Roger Michel said the reconstruction of violently destroyed treasures serves a crucially important social value.

"Monuments, as embodiments of history, religion, art and science, are significant and complex repositories of cultural narratives," he explained. "No one should consider for one second giving terrorists the power to delete such objects from our collective cultural record."

In this context, BBC reported that the scale model will be on display at Trafalgar Square for three days before moving to other locations around the world, including New York and Dubai.

Cost of the replica's installation

It clarified that the installation of the replica, which cost about £100,000 to create, has taken place during World Heritage Week.

Dr. Robert Bewley, a specialist in endangered archaeology at Oxford University, said it was important the reconstruction did not diminish the significance of the original monument - and there would always be a "questions of value for money" of reconstructions.

"But if wealthy philanthropists wish to create these symbols of the cultural heritage, to raise awareness of the destruction of identity and cultural heritage then that is their right," he added.

Weighing nearly 11 tons and standing roughly 20 feet tall, the replica arch is two-thirds of the original's size.

It was financed and created by the IDA, a joint project between Oxford and Harvard universities and Dubai's Museum of the Future.

 

Compiled by: Basma Qaddour

 

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