Palmyra arch: Destroyed by Daesh, now standing tall in the center of London

A replica of the famous Palmyra arch, which dated back to the 3rd century AD and was destroyed by Daesh – also known as ISIL – last year, has been unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square.

The project — commissioned by Oxford and Harvard Universities — used state of the art 3D technology to map the arch’s dimensions from thousands of images, before master craftsmen carved the 20ft replica from Egyptian marble.

Prior to the outbreak of conflict in Syria in early 2011, the site of Palmyra was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East. Only a single arch of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Bel remained after Daesh terrorists destroyed it in September last year.

Sputnik caught up with Londoners in Trafalgar Square to find out their reactions to the newly resurrected Arch of Triumph:

“I came here [to Trafalgar Square] today just to see this wonderful arch, and it gives me the willies to stand in front of it now. It’s crazy to think what people can do: this arch is actually a pile of rubble in Syria, but then again it’s here in London, beautiful as it used to be,” said Amid, 46.

“I like it.. it gives you hope, you know? Palmyra was under the Islamic State’s control but now it’s more or less free, and we are rebuilding all the things they destroyed there,”

said Laura, 31.

“I don’t think it [the arch] really suits this square — I mean the colors and the architecture of Trafalgar Square — but it’s still important to raise awareness of what’s going on in Syria. It could be the first step to finally find a solution to the awful situation there, and to the migration crisis,” Helen, 66 commented.

“I feel that the technology aspect is interesting: they actually printed this using old pictures. Apart from the Syrian war, it’s just amazing how this could be used in the future, for tourism and stuff like that,” said Robert, 25.

The project has given hope to those who want to see the ancient ruins rebuilt, and new technology promises to make that possible.  The project’s designer Giacomo Massari said in an interview with Euronews:

“We sometimes think about if we were in the position of the Syrian people… We would like to have this. Our monuments, as Italians, also are very important for us these kinds of monuments and the relation that we have with our place.”

The construction of the resurrected ‘Arch of Triumph’ coincides with World Heritage Week, and is later set to travel on to New York, Dubai and eventually Syria.
By Sputnik