Palmyra's Arch of Triumph replica erected in central London

we're looking at how to apply

architectural 3d printing and 3d

machining to produce sort of pieces of

recreated archaeology

there are two photographic techniques

reflection strength

transformation imaging and multispectral

imaging which allow us to see if you

like beyond the vision of the human eye

they are also useful when making 3d

models that give you a full 360 degree

view of the object you then translate

that model into an engineering style

model used as the input to the 3d

machining system and then they will be

assembled as a sort of giant jigsaw

puzzle Palmira

provincial capital of ancient Rome once

three hundred thousand people lived here

where these lonely stone pillars rise

from the desert today within the last

few minutes we've learned from

opposition activists in Palmyra that the

entire city has now fallen is militants

have damaged destroyed and plundered

ancient sites in territory they've

seized the historic Arch of Triumph in

Palmyra which was considered one of the

jewels in the collection of ruins at the

Roman era site we heard about the

threats to Palmyra as everybody else did

as the army advanced and as the site was

taken in the spring of last year we've

been working in this area so looking at

endangered archeology for quite some

time so we have a project which is to

produce a large scale replica of the

triumphal arch from the Palmyra site in

Syria in a way copies are nothing new

and we've been producing copies of

architecture and art for centuries we're

sitting here in the Cask courts which is

a 19th century example of a moment when

museums were creating a lot of copies

through plaster casting

this was done out of a really practical

idea which was most people couldn't

afford to travel across Europe to see

great works of art so instead it was

much more practical to bring something

like Trajan's column which is right here

to the people of Britain I think that it

is very important that we respect

concepts like authenticity that when

somebody visits an archaeological site

they know where that you know one

particular part of it is completely

original another pieces being you know

reconstructed we would never claim that

a reconstruction is as good as the


it's intuitive that there is something

very special about an original object

that the feelings of all for example

when we visit large buildings the sense

of the physical space the acoustics of

the physical space these are all things

that are special to the actual existence

of an object and I'm not sure that it

necessarily has to be the original

object for those experiences to be heard

what happened in the 20th century is

that Copley started to take on a

negative connotation and I think we very

much still have this attitude towards

copies today one thing that's really

important to understand in preservation

is that all great monuments all old

buildings are basically undergoing a

process where essentially they're

constantly reproducing themselves so in

a large monastery if a door starts to

wear away you'll replace the door


copying works of art has never been

easier through 3d fabrication and 3d

scanning all you need is basically a

smartphone and the ability to take 40

pictures of an object and feed it

through some software and you can create

a relatively faithful 3d model of that

object we see ourselves as people with

potentially an enabling technology and a

willingness to help I personally feel

very strongly that we should not allow

hostile groups of any kind to define the

apparent cultural background of a nation

of a country of any kind of site one of

the reasons museums began as an act as

an institution was to safeguard objects

from things specifically iconoclasm so I

kind of class them as nothing new it's

not really a matter of whether or not we

should copy it's really a question of

how do we copy

I was shocked sad depressed and worried

same as everybody else but instead of

writing something because it's not my

language I drew something