Rome recreates treasures destroyed by ISIS

Colosseum exhibition features replicas of ancient works destroyed by conflict.

Life-size replicas of three lost ancient works from Syria and Iraq are on display at the Colosseum in an exhibition whose aim is to highlight the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Sponsored by UNESCO, the exhibition Rising from Destruction: Ebla, Nimrud, Palmyra pays tribute to three important treasures of Near East civilisation, all of which have been destroyed or damaged by wars or iconoclastic vandalism.

Using enormous 3D printers and replicated stone, the project's organisers have recreated Iraq's human-headed winged bull of Nimrud, alongside the ruins of the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel in Palmyra – both destroyed last year by ISIS; and Syria's royal archive room of the Palace of Ebla State, which housed 17,000 cuneiform tablets, and has suffered extensive damage during the Syrian conflict.

The project has been overseen by archaeologists and art historians, and curated by former Rome mayor and former Italian culture minister Francesco Rutelli.

The exhibition is open until 11 December.

Photo Gabriel Stabinger.