Ordinary people weren’t the only victims of ISIS. The terror group also waged war on humanity’s cultural heritage, destroying ancient libraries, monuments, and statues. And now, thanks to the magic of technology, they’re coming back.
Google today announced a collaboration with Historic England and the Imperial War Museums, the latter of whom is running a season called “Culture Under Attack,” which focuses on the destruction of monuments during wartime. As part of this, the technology company has loaned the museum a 3D printed replica of the Lion of Mosul, which was destroyed by ISIS in 2015 when they ransacked the historic Mosul Museum.
The Lion of Mosul belonged to the ancient Assyrian culture, and dates back to 860 BCE. It once stood proudly at the entrance of the Temple of Ishtar, in the historic city of Nimrud in Iraq. It was exhibited at the Mosul Museum during 2014, when ISIS overran the city.
Not long after, the group posted shocking footage of it destroying sculptures and exhibits using drills, power tools, and even brute human force, as bearded fanatics in robes pushed statues off their plinths. And while this 3D printed replica won’t come close to replacing the original, it’s good to know that this ancient culture isn’t lost forever.
The Lion of Mosul will be available to view at the Imperial War Museum in London from July 5 to January 5, 2020. If you’re not in the city, you can still check it out through the Google Arts and Culture website.