Less than a year after ISIS destroyed the original Arch of Palmyra—part of the systematic demolition of the ancient Syrian city, a UNESCO World Heritage site—researchers from Britain’s Institute for Digital Archeology unveiled a full-scale 3-D printed replica at London’s Trafalgar Square. Now, reports Untapped Cities, the copy of the monumental Roman archway is making its way to New York City on September 19th.
The IDA team used photographs of the 20-foot arch to create a computer model; then, they loaded the plans into a computer-controlled water-jet stone carver. According to Roger Michel, founder of the Institute, the resulting 12-ton, Egyptian marble facsimile is "completely indistinguishable from the original."
"My intention is to show the Islamic State that anything they can blow up we can rebuild exactly as it was before, and rebuild it again and again," he told The Guardian shortly before the copy’s London reveal. "We will use technology to disempower ISIS."
While a three-city world tour has always been the plan (the institute is a joint venture of Harvard, Oxford, and Dubai’s Museum of the Future), it’s not clear yet where the replica will be displayed when it arrives in Manhattan. One (potential) clue, though: Untapped Cities notes the official announcement promises the replica will stand "surrounded by buildings adorned with classical features suggesting the common cultural roots of East and West." Put your best guesses on what that could mean in the comments.