Lost treasures of Syria’s Palmyra rise again in new 3D show

Palmyra may just have fallen yet again to the IS group, but a new “immersive” 3D show in Paris lets you walk through the Syrian city’s classical colonnades as they were before the jihadists blew them to bits.
The “Eternal Sites” exhibition uses high-definition images often shot by drones to allow the public to visit four of the most threatened heritage sites in the world in war-torn Syria and Iraq.
The eighth-century Umayyad Mosque in Damascus — regarded by many as the fourth holiest place in Islam — and the Krak des Chevaliers Crusader castle near the ravaged city of Homs have also been virtually recreated under the dome of the Grand Palais in Paris.
The show, which has been organised with the nearby Louvre museum, is part of a global push to digitalise spectacular archaeological sites that are at risk.
The remains of the ancient Iraqi city of Khorsabad, which dates from the 7th century BC, has also been recreated using images captured by French company Iconem.
Like the other three sites, the 3D images are matched with real artefacts from the city from the Louvre’s collections.
The museum’s director Jean-Luc Martinez, who curated the show, said that they wanted to “show sites that are no longer accessible and the beauty of their art.”
Palmyra fell for a second time to the jihadists at the weekend despite heavy Russian bombing to prevent the extremists entering the city.
— AFP