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3D Print Technology To Save Mosul Museum Relics

The world watched in horror recently as ISIS published images of terrorists wantonly destroying priceless ancient relics and artifacts from the Mosul Museum.  Fortunately, many of the items that were smashed to smithereens were actually replicas although some of the pieces were over 3,000 years old and totally irreplaceable.

However, despite the ruination there is hope that 3D design and printing can go some way towards replacing and retrieving what has been lost.  In the wake of the chaos, antiquities experts at Columbia University in New York have already begun work on an exciting project to rebuild what has been destroyed. 

Project Mosul

The initial work in this daunting challenge is to find images of all of the items that have been lost.  Project Mosul has appealed to anyone holding images of artifacts from the museum to send them in to volunteers working on the project.  It is hoped that 3D printed copies of the items can be made using the images as a basic framework.

The Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage is responsible for heading up the Project Mosul volunteer group.  Anyone who has images from the museum that might have been taken as holiday snaps is encouraged to contact the group and upload them.

Of the restoration work carried out so far, the Lion of Mosul produced using Sketchfab is probably the best example of what 3D print technology can do.  The project group hopes to not only reconstruct what’s been lost but also intends to use the technology as a tool for locating items that have been looted.  The project is also looking for volunteers experienced in coding, Photoshop and automated photogrammetry for making 3D models.  If you can help the project, more information is available at this link.

In conclusion

It’s hoped that modern cutting edge 3D print technology can come to the rescue of cultural artifacts created by artisans many thousands of years ago.  If you think what can be achieved using 3D printers seems pretty far-fetched to us today; just imagine how it would seem to the original craftsmen of the ancient Middle East.



Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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