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Právo: Czechs make digital reconstruction of lost Mosul heritage

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – Czech experts have been working on digital models of valuable heritage sights in Mosul, Iraq, destroyed by Islamists, in order to enable their reconstruction as soon as the city is liberated by the Iraqi military, daily Pravo writes yesterday.
IS extremists have destroyed about 50 Muslim as well as Christian historical buildings in Mosul, a town known for its unique 12th-13th-century architecture, the daily writes.
The lost sights are resurrecting now thanks to a team of archeologists and historians from the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Science (CAV), who have used photos, including satellite snaps and drawings to create digital models of the historical heritage items, Pravo writes.
The project started in 2015. Its current results, or completed virtual models, are available for visitors in the CAV seat in Prague as from yesterday, the daily writes.
“Islamists in Mosul have mainly targeted graves, tombs and mosques with a vault. They have blown up 47 buildings in the city. We have completed the digital reconstruction of six so far, and there is still a lot of work ahead of us,” Oriental Institute director Ondrej Beranek told Pravo.
“This may also serve as a message to those who believe that humanity studies are of no use,” he said.
“We had an aerial photo of Mosul from 1942 at our disposal, and also declassified snaps that U.S. espionage satellites made in the 1960s,” another member of the expert team, Karel Novacek, from the Olomouc university, is quoted as saying.
Lenka Starkova, from the Plzen university, said the more photos of a given sight are available, the easier its digital reconstruction is. “That is why we hail any new photo, since there are always things to improve, even in the finished models,” she said.

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