The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has been liberated, but many of its features have been destroyed by Islamic State. Now, a team of archaeologists has created a replica of the city’s Arch of Triumph in London, based on 3D scans of the structure.
Islamic State militants occupied the historic city last May and while there destroyed some of the city’s most distinctive monuments— including the Arch of Triumph, the Baalshamin Temple, and the Temple of Bel.
The new two-thirds scale model of the Arch of Triumph has been built in London’s Trafalgar Square by the Institute of Digital Archaeology, reports the BBC. It will travel to New York and Dubai in the coming months, before being sent to Palmyra some time next year. It’s hoped it will be erected close to the site of the original.
The new arch could be created thanks to a scheme called Million Images Database project, which is run by the Institute of Digital Archaeology. The team send out 3D cameras to local volunteers, allowing them to capture accurate digital models of historic structures. The replica was carved from stone based on these images.
Islamic State militants were finally forced to abandon Palmyra earlier this year. During their occupation they caused plenty of damage, but experts have established that around 80 percent of the artefacts in Palmyra appear to be largely intact. It’s expected the restoration will take at least five years—but now the Arch of Triumph can be crossed from the to-do list.