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RECENT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

70th Anniversary of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO

IDA’s replica of the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra travels to Bern, Switzerland, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO. The Arch was unveiled on June 13, 2019 and will remain in Bern’s Casinoplatz until June 24. Read about the event in Le Matin and Basellandschaftliche Zeitung.

20 Years of the 2nd Protocol of the Hague Convention

IDA’s Palmyra arch reconstruction was displayed at Place des Nations in Geneva in association with UNESCO heritage conference. The Arch was unveiled on April 12, 2019 and remained in the Place des Nations until April 27. See videos for the event from RTS and Léman Bleu.

Sutton Hoo Ship Reconstruction

The IDA looks forward to working with the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company to bring England’s Saxon history to life. Read about this extraordinary project in The Times, and the East Anglian Daily Times.

The Peace Window

The Peace Window, more than 20 feet in diameter, will celebrate an artistic tradition that has been at the heart of eastern and western spiritual and social life for more than 1000 years. Made from fragments of glass sourced from damaged cultural sites around the world, The Peace Window will embody the intangible heritage of our planet, the shared history of humanity.

The Arch in Washington D.C.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), both longtime advocates for the protection of global cultural heritage, jointly unveiled the IDA's reconstruction of Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch on the National Mall. As Mr Engel said during the 45 minute ceremony in front of the US Capitol: “When you look at this beautiful Arch, we are seeing through the eyes of ancient civilizations, and to have it right here, set against the classical columns of the Capitol, is really extraordinary.” Many thanks to Congressmen Royce and Engel for a memorable day.

Imaging at St. Catherine’s Monastery

The IDA is collaborating on work to preserve and document the extraordinary icons of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai.

IDA’s Arch at the V&A

London's Victoria & Albert Museum has acquired a scale replica of the IDA's reconstruction of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch. The replica arch will be on permanent display in the V&A's famous Cast Court alongside significant historical reconstructions dating back to the mid-19th century. Read about the installation in The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Art Newspaper. Watch a video of the event HERE.

‘Old Cities, New Eyes’ at the United Nations

The IDA, in collaboration with the UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations and AccuCities, installed the exhibition ‘Old Cities, New Eyes’ at UN Headquarters in New York City on August 6, 2018. Watch a video of the event HERE.

‘The Spirit in the Stone’ at the United Nations

On November 21, 2017, the IDA unveiled ‘The Spirit in the Stone’ at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The exhibition, produced in collaboration with the UK Permanent Mission to the UN and the Dubai Future Foundation, featured the IDA’s replica of the partially destroyed sculpture of Al lat from Palmyra, Syria. Speakers included the IDA’s Mr. Roger Michel, President of the UN Security Council, President of the UN General Assembly, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN and the UAE’s HE Omar bin Sultan.


"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

"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

"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. However, new technologies 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."

- His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Dubai UAE & Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation


WHAT WE DO

Digital archaeology represents the natural evolution of classical archaeology, permitting researchers to look at ancient objects in entirely new ways -- to uncover hidden inscriptions, invisible paint lines, the faintest palimpsests -- and to share these discoveries with the world. Beyond that, digital technologies can put these crucially important repositories of our cultural identity and shared history forever beyond the reach of those who would destroy them. The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) was founded to promote, improve and expand these important new digital tools.

Consistent with this mission, the IDA, through projects like the Million Image Database, has created accessible digital archives that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and the crowd-sourcing of research through partnerships with institutions across the globe. 

In addition, through stakeholder-led initiatives like our Triumphal Arch project, we have demonstrated our capacity to provide high quality and meaningful reconstructions of objects and architecture lost to vandalism or natural disaster.

The IDA stands at the forefront of the development and use of digital imaging, 3D printing and robotic carving techniques for the cataloguing, conservation and reconstruction of treasured heritage materials.  By expanding our programs to include more sites, additional technologies, and a greater range of local, national and international partners, the IDA aims to retain its status as a global leader in the field of cultural heritage preservation.

The Institute for Digital Archaeology

Email: alexy@digitalarchaeology.org.uk
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