A VIRTUAL OASIS: TRAFALGAR SQUARE’S ARCH OF PALMYRA

Stuart Burch

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v11i3.1401

Abstract

This paper considers the destruction of the Arch of Palmyra in Syria in 2015 and its temporary reconstruction a year later in London’s Trafalgar Square. Attention is paid to an adjacent pedestal known as the Fourth Plinth, with a particular focus on a proposed monument by the Iraqi-American conceptual artist, Michael Rakowitz (born 1973). His works provide the basis for a discussion of public memorials and art’s commemorative function; the preservation, destruction and politicisation of heritage; the role of technology for the purposes of documentation and reconstruction; notions of authenticity; ethics and legal issues surrounding the global trade in cultural artefacts.

Keywords

Arch of Palmyra; heritage; iconoclasm; Michael Rakowitz; monuments; Trafalgar Square.

Full Text:

PDF

References

Adams, G.K. (2017). UK passes bill to protect cultural property in armed conflict. Museums Association, February 22. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/22022017-uk-passes-cultural-property-bill.

Ahmed, F. (2014). Digital innovation of the year. Apollo Magazine, 3 December. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.apollo-magazine.com/apollo-awards-digital-innovation-year/.

Anon (c. 2016). Million Image Database tops 250,000 records. Summer Newsletter: The Institute for Digital Archaeology, 1(2), 3.

BBC (2016). Museum of lost objects: Winged-Bull of Nineveh. BBC Radio 4, February 29. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071skph.

Bevan, R. (2016). Should Palmyra rise again? London Evening Standard, 25 April, 34-35.

Bevan, R. (2017). Ruin or rebuild? Conserving heritage in an age of terrorism. The Art Newspaper, 286. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from www.theartnewspaper.com/features/ruin-or-rebuildconserving-heritage-in-an-age-of-terrorism.

Bobin, F. (2015). Disputes damage hopes of rebuilding Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas. The Guardian, January 10. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/10/rebuild-bamiyan-buddhas-taliban-afghanistan.

British Museum (2004). Report on meeting at Babylon 11th – 13th December 2004. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.britishmuseum.org/PDF/BabylonReport04.pdf.

Brown, M. (2017). Fourth plinth shortlist includes winged bull and giant cream blob. The Guardian, January 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jan/19/fourth-plinth-shortlist-trafalgar-square-winged-bull.

Burch, S. (2016). Have buildings, will travel. In C. Lige et al (Ed.). Face-to-face: The story of the Baltic Exchange (99-101). Tallinn: Museum of Estonian Architecture.

Chmaytelli, M. (2017). Tunnels under ancient Mosul mosque show Islamic State’s focus on loot. Reuters, 10 March. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-iraq-antiquities-idUKKBN16H1UK.

CPACA (2017). Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 c. 6. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/6/pdfs/ukpga_20170006_en.pdf.

De Certeau, M. (1988). The practice of everyday life. Los Angeles, C.A.: University of California Press.

Delman, E. (2015). Afghanistan’s Buddhas rise again. The Atlantic, June 10. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/06/3d-buddhas-afghanistan/395576/.

E.O. 13769 (2017). Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States. Federal Register, 82(20), 8977-8982.

Factum Arte (n.d.). IDA Palmyra Arch copy. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.factumfoundation.org/pag/236.

Fahim, K. (2006). Dates with an artist: An Iraq installation. New York Times, October 10, B4. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/10/nyregion/10ink.html.

Gall, C. (2006). Afghans consider rebuilding Bamiyan Buddhas. International Herald Tribune, November 5. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/world/asia/05iht-buddhas.3793036.html.

Gayle, D. (2015). Palmyra arch that survived Isis to be replicated in London and New York. The Guardian, December 28. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/28/palmyra-temple-bel-arch-survived-isis-syria-london-new-york.

GHF (2010). Saving our vanishing heritage: Safeguarding endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. California: Global Heritage Fund.

Gray, M. (2015). Million Image Database wins Apollo Digital Innovation Award. Apollo Magazine, November 23. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.apollo-magazine.com/apollo-awards-2015-digital-innovation-of-the-year-million-image-database-institute-digital-archaeology/.

Harris, P. (2011). World Trade Centre fragments are turned into 9/11 memorials. The Guardian, September 4. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/04/world-trade-centre-fragments-memorials.

Hegarty, S. (2012). Bamiyan Buddhas: Should they be rebuilt? BBC, August 13. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18991066.

HL (2016). Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill. House of Lords, HL Bill 3 56/2, May 19, (773). Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cultural-property-armed-conflicts-bill.

ICOMOS (1964). International charter for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites (Venice charter). Paris: ICOMOS. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.icomos.org/charters/venice_e.pdf.

Jessica Carlisle (2016). The missing: Rebuilding the past. Jessica Carlisle gallery, London, April 15 – May 7. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.jessicacarlisle.com/the-missing.

Jones, J. (2017). Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth is fine for horses, but not avant garde art. The Guardian, March 21. Retrieved March 22, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2017/mar/21/fourth-plinth-trafalgar-square-heather-phillipson-michael-rakowitz.

Kriss, S. (2016). Views my own: Why recreating the Palmyra Arch in London was smug, hypocritical and tacky. Vice, April 25. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/palmyras-arch-trafalgar-square-dubai-new-york.

Lowe, A. (2015). Can 3D recording help preserve threatened sites in Syria and Iraq? Apollo Magazine, September 11. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.apollo-magazine.com/can-3d-recording-help-preserve-threatened-sites-syria-iraq/.

Mace, R. (2005). Trafalgar Square emblem of empire. London: Lawrence & Wishart.

McDonald, A. (2017). Invisible wounds: The impact of six years of war on the mental health of Syria’s children. London: Save the Children.

Michel, R. (n.d.). Reflecting on an extraordinary year – and looking ahead to 2017. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk.

Michel, R., and Karenowska, A. (2016). A letter from the director, April 6. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/letter-from-roger-michel.

MID (n.d.). The Million Image Database: preserving the past, protecting the future. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.millionimage.org.uk.

Mockaitis, T.R. (2012) (Ed.). Document 40: Excerpt of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard B. Myers, Department of Defense News Briefing, April 11, 2003. In T.R. Mockaitis (Ed.). The Iraq War: A Documentary and Reference Guide (145-151). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press.

Morgan, L. (2012). The Buddhas of Bamiyan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Murphy, K. (2016). Download: Roger Michel. New York Times (Sunday Review), April 23. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/opinion/sunday/roger-michel.html.

National Gallery (2017). Fourth plinth shortlist exhibition. National Gallery, Annenberg Court, January 19 –March 26.

Potenza, A. (2016). Syrian arch razed by ISIS and re-created with 3D technology arrives in New York City. The Verge, September 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/19/12972504/palmyra-arch-of-triumph-isis-3d-replica-new-york-city.

Rakowitz, M. (2007 to date). The invisible enemy should not exist. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.michaelrakowitz.com/the-invisible-enemy-should-not-exist/.

Rakowitz, M. (2010). May the arrogant not prevail. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.michaelrakowitz.com/may-the-arrogant-not-prevail/.

Rediff (2004). The Rediff Interview/Mullah Omar. Rediff, April 12. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/apr/12inter.htm.

Richardson, N. (2016). The Arch of Triumph of Palmyra is recreated in London – 1,800 years after it was built. Daily Telegraph, April 18. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/08/why-the-arch-of-triumph-of-palmyra-is-being-recreated-in-london/.

Rielly, B. and Addison, S. (2016). Recreation of destroyed Palmyra arch unveiled in London. Reuters, April 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-britain-palmyra-idUSKCN0XG1TF.

Ruggeri, A. (2015). The great Gate of Ishtar: A door to wonder. BBC, March 2. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/culture/story/20150302-ancient-babylons-greatest-wonder.

Sattin, A. (2015). Meet the master of reproduction. Christie’s Magazine, November 9. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.christies.com/features/Master-of-reproduction-Adam-Lowe-and-Factum-Arte-6776-1.aspx.

Searle, A. (2017). Plinth perfect: the five contenders for the fourth Trafalgar spot. The Guardian, January 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jan/19/plinth-perfect-the-five-contenders-for-the-fourth-trafalgar-spot.

Shea, C.D. (2016). Palmyra Arch replica is unveiled in Trafalgar Square in London. New York Times, April 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from www.nytimes.com/2016/04/20/arts/international/replica-of-palmyra-arch-is-unveiled-in-trafalgar-square.html.

Shrigley, D. (2016). A Really Good chat with David Shrigley... Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/a_really_good_chat_with_david_shrigley_transcript.pdf.

Sinclair, M. (2016). Should museums be recreating the past? Creative Review, July 20. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.creativereview.co.uk/should-museums-be-recreating-the-past.

Stone, P. (2016). Why ratifying the Hague convention matters. The Art Newspaper, November 29. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://theartnewspaper.com/comment/comment/why-ratifying-the-hague-convention-matters-/.

Taylor, A. (2016). The problem with rebuilding a Palmyra ruin destroyed by ISIS – does it simply help Assad? Washington Post, April 20. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/04/20/the-problem-with-rebuilding-a-roman-ruin-destroyed-by-isis-does-it-simply-help-assad/.

Turner, L. (2016). Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph recreated in London. BBC, April 19. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36070721.

UNICEF (2017). Hitting rock bottom: How 2016 became the worst year for Syria’s children. New York: UNICEF.

Volk, G. (2012). dOCUMENTA (13): Books, Afghanistan and both. Art in America, July 5. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/news/documenta-4-books-afghanistan/.

Ward-Jackson, P. (2011). Public sculpture of historic Westminster: Volume 1. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Willits, J. (2016). Syria’s human losses and London’s replica of Palmyra’s arch. The New Arab, April 23. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2016/4/22/syrias-human-losses-and-londons-replica-of-palmyras-arch.

Wood, P. (2017). Isis? Bomb those suckers. The Spectator, 33 (9834), 17 February, 10-11.

Woodhouse, J. (2015). UK plans to ratify the Hague convention protecting cultural property during armed conflict (cover photograph, Sunset over Palmyra from the Qalaat ibn Maan castle, Syria by A. Kocman). Briefing Paper, No. 7427, 11 December, House of Commons Library. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7427/CBP-7427.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2017 Stuart Burch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

ABOUT US


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, CNKI, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier, Web of Science.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY--NC-ND license, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2017

 
 

Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014