ISIS destroyed the Lion of Mosul sculpture. It was re-created with 3-D printing and crowdsourced images

Written by By Michelle Lou, CNN

When members of ISIS took sledgehammers and jackhammers to the Mosul Museum in Iraq in February 2015, many of the artifacts they smashed were actually fakes.

Still, a quarter of the museum’s collection was lost — including a 3,000-year-old lion sculpture. It once valiantly stood at the entrance of the Temple of Ishtar, according to Google Arts and Culture, a cultural platform for viewing artwork and stories.

In 2017, after ISIS was pushed out of Mosul, officials returned to the museum to assess the damage. They found remnants of the Lion of Mosul littered around the area where it was displayed.
But thanks to 3-D modeling and printing technology, people will now be able to view the sculpture as it once was. A digital preservation project known as Rekrei used crowdsourced images of the work to render a 3-D digital model of it, Google Arts and Culture says.
Imperial War Museums London will showcase the Lion of Mosul replica at its “What Remains” exhibit beginning Friday. The exhibit explores “why culture and heritage are attacked during war.”

Rekrei was launched by two Ph.D. students who saw ISIS’s destruction and set out to digitally preserve cultural artifacts.

They employ a technique called photogrammetry, which involves using several photos of the same object from different angles to make measurements.

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