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Replica of Ancient Palmyra Arch Unveiled in London

  • VOA News

A replica of one of Syria's most iconic monuments destroyed by Islamic State militants has been unveiled in London as part of World Heritage Week.

A recreation of the nearly 2,000 year old Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, was revealed Tuesday by London Mayor Boris Johnson in Trafalgar Square, in front of Britain's National Gallery.

The six-meter tall, full scale stone replica was created by the Oxford-based Institute of Digital Technology using state-of-the-art technology such as 3-D imaging.

Johnson said, "Monuments, as embodiments of history, religion, art and science, are significant and complex repositories of cultural narratives."

"No one should consider for one second giving terrorists the power to delete such objects from our collective cultural record," he added.

London Mayor Boris Johnson (center L) watches as a 5.5-meter (20ft) recreation of the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, is unveiled at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, April 19, 2016.

London Mayor Boris Johnson (center L) watches as a 5.5-meter (20ft) recreation of the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, is unveiled at Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, April 19, 2016.

The arch was among the ruins in Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site northeast of Damascus. Palmyra is known as the "Pearl of the desert" for its striking ancient ruins.

The militants seized Palmyra last year, but it was taken back by the Russian-backed Syrian army last month.

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