You Can Now 3D Print the Ancient Artifacts That ISIS Destroyed


Image: Andy Wood/MOTHERBOARD
Last year, members of ISIS tore through Nineveh Museum in Mosul, Iraq, armed with sledgehammers and power drills. They were there with a singular purpose: to destroy the precious, millennia-old artifacts stored inside the museum. They succeeded.

By Jordan Pearson|MOTHERBOARD

Now, anyone with an internet connection and a 3D printer (a fairly limited number of people on Earth, when you think about it) can print out replicas of the statues that ISIS attempted to destroy, thanks to Iranian artist and activist Morehshin Allahyari. Over the last year, Allahyari has been working to model the statues that ISIS trashed and 3D print miniature plastic figurines in their image.

Last week, she unveiled the full collection, called “Material Speculation,” for the first time at Trinity Square Video, a storied new media art space in Toronto. On Monday, Allahyari uploaded the first 3D printer blueprint in the series to the internet. The rest will follow later in the year, when Allahyari finds a museum capable of properly archiving the digital files. After all, it wouldn’t do for history to be lost a second time, due to technical error.

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