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Saving Heritage on a Zip Drive

Posted on Dec, 14, 2016
Contributed to WCHV by WCHV

Morehshin Allahyari is one of the  “100 Leading Global Thinkers 2016” selected by Foreign Policy
Last year, the Islamic State released a video of militants bludgeoning a statue of King Uthal of Hatra—one example among the scores of ancient artifacts the group has destroyed in Iraq and Syria. Trying to reverse this ruin is Iranian-born artist Morehshin Allahyari, who leads Material Speculation: ISIS, a 3-D modeling and printing project that has reconstructed 12 artifacts, including the statue of King Uthal. Contained on a 570 MB Zip file are printable versions of the artworks, along with scholarly research, videos, and high-resolution images pertaining to the originals. This year, Allahyari exhibited the printed sculptures at Toronto’s Trinity Square Video; in addition, she made the King Uthal file available to the public—ensuring that the artifact, in some tangible form, isn’t lost forever. (Photo credit: GARY PAYNE/University of North Texas)
Notable Facts:
The U.S. congressional Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing has heard testimony that the Islamic State could be making up to $100 million annually from the illicit trade of artifacts.
When Allahyari was 16, she published a 400-page novel based on the life of her grandmother, who grew up in Kurdistan and suffered under various gender norms that restricted her behavior and choices.

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