The original arch in Palmyra may have been destroyed on October 5th, but a five metre high replica has gone on show in Trafalgar Square in London from where it will go to Dubai and New York before, hopefully soon, it can replace the original in Palmyra itself.
The Mayor of London said the replica was of huge symbolic value.
“We want also to show defiance of the know-nothing nihilist maniacs who tore it down. This thing stood for 2,000 years. Everybody came and invaded or conquered that part of the world, the Greeks, Alexander the Great, the Romans, you name it, the Christians, the Muslims. No one until Daesh, the so-called Islamic State thought it was worth demolishing,” said Boris Johnson.
With Palmyra back in government hands the arch may soon stand again. But it won’t be the same.
“It’s nothing like the real thing. It’s nice that it’s here and people are thinking about Palmyra, I was there before all the destruction occurred and it really is heart-rending to see what is happening. It’s sheer ignorance basically,” said archaeologist Margot Wright.
While ISIL controlled the ancient city it is reported to have also sold off artifacts on the antiques black market, so many pieces of looted treasure may turn up in years to come.