EXPERTS from Oxford University have helped to recreate an ancient monument destroyed by so-called Islamic State in Syria.

The replica of the Arch of Triumph – which stood in the city of Palmyra until it was blown up by the terrorist group – has been made by the Institute for Digital Archaeology using cutting-edge 3D technology and pictures of the original.

It has been standing in Trafalgar Square since yesterday and is due to be there until Thursday as part of World Heritage Week.

In an open letter about the scheme, institute bosses Roger Michel and Dr Alexy Karenowska, of Magdalen College in Oxford, wrote: "This project is, first and foremost, a gesture of friendship and solidarity with people in the conflict regions of the Middle East – people with whom we share common aspirations for a secure future.

"There is also a historical dimension to the project. As Mayor Boris Johnson put it recently, bringing the first monumental scale reconstruction of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch to London represents an opportunity to share the experience of this irreplaceable artefact with as many people as possible.

"Antiquities like this belong to all mankind and it is imperative that we all strive to safeguard our common heritage.

"We hope visitors to the square will consider the role of physical objects in defining history and weigh carefully the question of where precisely heritage resides."

The institute revealed its plans to recreate artefacts destroyed by IS – known as 'Daesh' by its opponents – last August, following the group's obliteration of the 2,000-year-old temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra.

The Oxford-based institute is a partnership between Oxford University, Harvard University and the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Johnson said: "Daesh and other terrorist organisations seek to destroy democracy and obliterate history through the appalling acts of terrorism and murder they commit around the world.

"I’m very proud that the Institute of Digital Archaeology is bringing the first monumental scale reconstruction of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch to London in a stand against this violence."