In early 2015, IS stormed through the Middle East demolishing homes, lives and cherished cultural heritage sites in a calculated attempt to destroy identities. Faced with the imminent destruction of treasured structures such as Palmyra’s iconic Arch of Triumph in Syria, specialists from around the world came together to do something new.

The Million Image Database collects and collates photographs in numbers never achieved before. This archive is being used for many purposes but one of the most innovative is its potential for 3D replication.

We follow the Institute of Digital Archaeology’s concept, creation and exhibition of the Arch from the ruins of Palmyra, to the marble quarries of Carrara to its unveiling in Trafalgar Square.

But this film also broaches the topic of replication and authenticity: Can a copy actually evoke the spirit and story of the original?

Guardian News Video

Created by: Mike Chaney, Simon Pax McDowell, Dickhan Ho. Music by: Angus MacRae