3-D imaging helps recreate Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph after ISIS destroyed it

Click to play video: 'Palmyra’s ancient Arch of Triumph reproduced with 3-D imaging' Palmyra’s ancient Arch of Triumph reproduced with 3-D imaging
WATCH: London mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a replica of the Arch of Triumph from Palmyra in Trafalgar Square today. The original 2,000 year-old arch was destroyed by ISIS in Syria. Jeff Semple reports – Apr 19, 2016

LONDON – A 2,000-year-old triumphal arch destroyed by the Islamic State group in Syria has risen again – in replica – in London’s Trafalgar Square.

The Arch of Triumph in Palmyra formed part of one of the world’s most extensive ancient archaeological sites. The ancient city, a UNESCO world heritage site, was among Syria’s main tourist attractions before the civil war erupted in 2011.

READ MORE: Before and after images of ancient Syrian city destroyed by ISIS

ISIS militants overran Palmyra in May 2015, demolishing Roman-era monuments including the archway and two large temples dating back more than 1,800 years – and posting videos of their destruction online. Syrian government forces retook the city last month and authorities have begun assessing the damage to its ancient monuments.

Built under the Roman emperor Septimius Severus between A.D. 193 and A.D. 211, the arch towered over the colonnaded streets of the ancient city, which linked the Roman Empire to Persia.

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The six-meter (20-foot) Egyptian marble replica – about two-thirds the size of the original – was created by the Institute for Digital Archaeology from photographs of the original site using 3-D imaging technology and computer-aided carving tools.

“When I saw the destruction, I felt like I needed to do something to try and make it right,” said Roger Michel, executive director of the Institute for Digital Archaeology. The institute is a joint venture between Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

READ MORE: Syrian experts shocked by damage inside Palmyra’s museum

“The first thing I thought was, when I saw Palmyra come down, is these folks are censoring history,” Michel said.

London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled the model Tuesday. It will stay in London for three days before travelling to cities including New York and Dubai – and eventually to Palmyra itself.

WATCH: More coverage of the destruction of Palmyra


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