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The Triumphal Arch of Palmyra


World Government Summit

12 - 14 February 2017

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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The Triumphal Arch of Palmyra


World Government Summit

12 - 14 February 2017

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 
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A Celebration of cultural heritage

The IDA's principal partner is the Dubai Future Foundation.  An incubator for innovation, the DFF is the perfect collaborator for a technology-led organization like the IDA.  We are honored to display the arch in Dubai at the 2017 iteration of the World Government Summit. Sited at the entrance to the Summit, where it will be seen by all who attend, the Triumphal Arch will integrate perfectly with its physical surroundings as well as the spirit of the occasion, embodying as it does both tradition and high technology. 

The residents of Dubai, and the visionary leaders who conceived of the city, know better than anyone the importance of place and the national pride that can reside in architecture.  The Triumphal Arch, symbolizing the prosperity, technical prowess and cultural richness of the ancient trading hub of Palmyra, will be right at home in Dubai, a city that reflects all of those same virtues.


"The documentation of cultural heritage in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters, including through the use of new digital technologies, is a critical step to preserve the memory of our past and mitigate the risk of possible damage or loss of precious cultural assets. Initiatives such as the Million Image Database project by the Institute for Digital Archaeology, which is based on the support of numerous volunteers on the ground, also testify to the importance attributed to their cultural heritage by local communities."
Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO
 
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Connect to the Past


Connect to the Past


"By using digital techniques to map and preserve monuments and other aspects of shared human history, we are able to ensure that nobody can deny history or dictate that their narrative or ideology stands above the shared story of all humanity and our shared aspiration to live together in harmony.

There is actually a message within the Million Image Database initiative for those who think you can wipe out our human heritage with acts of destruction.  What you destroy, we can create again.  Our desire to live together, to work together for our humanity is a positive force that can rebuild everything you break.  Ultimately, we are stronger because we build.

The Million Image Database is a remarkable collective effort in which everyone has the opportunity to participate. It is that participation and collaborative aspect to the project that makes it such a powerful symbol for our shared desire to come together and celebrate human achievements, preserving them and sharing them around the world.

This partnership between the Dubai Future Foundation and The Institute for Digital Archaeology is extending the boundaries of what we can achieve using the remarkable potential of 3D printing and carving.  It is also an important example of how we can work together to make a positive contribution to preserving and sharing monuments and artifacts that represent our collective past and cement our future.

 

There has been a great deal of conflict in our region and many monuments and artifacts representing the achievements of golden eras in our past have been lost as a consequence. Many have been intentionally destroyed in an effort to erase the memory of a time when people of all faiths and origins worked together to create a golden age of scientific, cultural and social achievements.  This collaboration between the Dubai Future Foundation and The Institute for Digital Archaeology means that we can literally roll back the clock and restore what the nihilists have damaged.  It is a message to them: everything they are working to erase can be preserved.  Their destruction is as futile as their ideology.

We are delighted to be able to bring together so many people from around the world to collaborate on this important project of historical restoration and preservation.  As a result, some of the ancient world's most remarkable achievements can not only be kept for future generations to enjoy, but thanks to innovative 3D technologies, can be rebuilt anywhere in the world for all of humanity to enjoy."

His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi

Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Dubai UAE

Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation

"Recently, the safeguarding, protection, and appreciation of the remains of the past has gained a powerful tool: the possibility of immersive visualization and 3D reconstruction of archaeological sites and finds.  We are glad and thankful to explore this technology with the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), an organization that promotes the use of digital imaging and 3D printing in archaeology and conservation. The IDA’s Arch of Triumph of Palmyra serves as a model for how, together, we will bring life back to Palmyra and restore the site as a message of peace against terrorism, and will further collaborate in this way on other heritage sites in Syria."
Prof. Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), Syria

The Unveiling


The Unveiling


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai unveiled the IDA's reconstruction of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch at the World Government Summit on Sunday, February 12th in Dubai.  On hand to assist with the unveiling were UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and IMF President Christine Lagarde, as well as a host of other dignitaries. Below, Roger Michael, the IDA's founder and Executive Director, explains the technical processes underlying the reconstruction of the arch.

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In the News


In the News


Centre for future design

The Institute for Digital Archaeology is very pleased to announce that it will be launching the Centre for Future Design at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai. The Centre for Future Design is the IDA’s flagship initiative for 2017. It will house a research group focused on using applied physics to solve problems in the areas of cultural heritage preservation, protection and documentation. It will also be home to a suite of innovative educational and outreach programs, including a digital archaeology certificate programme, mid-career/executive education programmes and the new University of Oxford FOx initiative (see below). The centre will be housed at Oxford within the department of mathematics, physics and life sciences. The Centre for Future Design will dramatically expand the IDA’s emphasis on scientific research and education as it relates to cultural heritage preservation, technical innovation and future-directed policy planning.

future opportunity exchange (FOx)

One of the highlights of the 2017 World Government Summit for the IDA was the launch of the new Future Opportunity Exchange (FOx), an educational initiative based at Oxford University’s Magdalen College.  FOx is an international outreach program that connects students and teachers with resources and technology designed to promote educational and training opportunities in underserved communities around the world.  In addition to curriculum development and teacher education, the FOx program also provides services like peer-to-peer tutoring, financial aid counseling and conference support.  FOx will use Oxford University’s global network to link participants through a program of interdisciplinary activities focused on the exchange of ideas and the exploration of human culture, citizenship, and shared aspirations for personal growth and stronger communities.  The IDA will participate in FOx’s annual programs by assisting in the development of innovative curriculum materials, providing technology resources, and supporting workshops, conferences and information days for a global mix of students and teachers.  In addition, FOx will participate directly in the IDA’s planned World Youth Congress scheduled for Dubai in 2018 which will present an unprecedented opportunity for reshaping global approaches to increasing educational opportunities children of all backgrounds.