3-D printing to bring Syrian arch destroyed by ISIS back to life
A towering arch of an ancient temple in Palmyra, Syria, that has been mostly destroyed by ISIS terrorists will be recreated by a huge 3-D printer and put on display in New York City this spring, officials said on Monday.
The life-size model of the original 2,000-year-old structure, known as the Arch of the Temple of Bel, will stand approximately 48 feet high and 23 feet wide.
It will be one of two constructed in China for exhibition likely in Times Square and London’s Trafalgar Square as part of a World Heritage Week event in April 2016, said Roger Michel, executive director for the Institute for Digital Archaeology.
His organization uses 3-D cameras to document at-risk cultural sites throughout the Middle East and North Africa through the institute’s Million Image Project.
“We hope it is viewed as a constructive response to what has happened there,” Michel said, referring to the move by ISIS soldiers to eradicate Syria’s cultural history.
The establishment of the Institute for Digital Archaeology was a joint effort by Harvard University, Oxford University in Great Britain and Dubai’s Museum of the Future.
The temple, dedicated in 32 AD to the Mesopotamian god Bel, attracted 150,000 tourists yearly until 2011, when the civil war in Syria began.
In August, ISIS soldiers razed most of the structure with a series of powerful explosions, leaving behind only a 50-foot arch, according to satellite photos of the historic site.
The current status of the arch is unknown.
A plan to exhibit a model of the Temple of Bel — also known as the Temple of Baal — in Times Square or Union Square is awaiting approval from the Mayor’s Office, Michel said.
“I’m sure it will turn on issues of traffic flow and security,” he told The Post. “I know it’s pending.”
The institute plans to construct approximately 1,000 such versions of the arch in cities throughout the world.
p.s wasnt sure where to post this