Having defeated ISIS by recreating Palmyra’s ‘Arch of Triumph’ in London, the UK is considering a reconstruction of other ancient landmarks destroyed by religious extremists. First on the list are 800 monasteries trashed by Henry VIII; but then the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) will also build everything vandalized by all Empires since the dawn of time, including ‘the last series of Top Gear’.
Syrians naturally feel sentimental about an arch built by an invading army to celebrate the brutal occupation of Syria. One refugee commented: ‘I used to go all misty eyed whenever I visited Palmyra. It just reminded me of the good old days – when the Romans would come over, impose their religion on us, crucify our men and rape our women. Now, we’ve got this mob from ISIS – they’ve got no appreciation of culture’.
One bemused member of the public watched IDA reassemble the monument: ‘So what we’re saying is that if something is old it should be preserved, even if it once represented something bad – like Jimmy Savile in formaldehyde? Or are we saying that people are fanatics for destroying something of historic value – does that apply to West Ham’s Boleyn Ground?’
One Oxbridge historian explained: ‘It’s a tragedy when valuable antiquities are bombed by extremists…except of course, when we do it. That’s fine. Or when we nab it for our museums. Technically that’s regime change or liberation or some such thing. Anyway, it was probably an eye-sore in the first place – or smelt of curry. This new arch is a triumph and it’s not that we could have used this money to help build a refugee camp.’