An engineer and entrepreneur creates a project to digitally preserve 500 heritage sites in 5 years.
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Imagine creating a 3D digital archive of 500 of the world’s most at-risk heritage sites, preserved in virtual reality so that future generations can explore them in detail for centuries to come. That’s exactly what the CyArk 500 Challenge hopes to achieve—and it’s set itself the ambitious target of doing it in just five years.
The brainchild of Ben Kacyra, an Iraqi-born engineer and entrepreneur, the project, which will officially launch at a conference in London on Monday 22 October, aims to digitize the world’s most significant physical heritage sites. “I grew up in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, and when I was a little child my father would take me by the hand to the Gates of of Nineveh,” Kacyra explained to Gizmodo. “When the Taliban dynamited the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001, I realized the same thing could happen to Nineveh—or any other heritage site.