A group of 30 monumental sculptures from Tell Halaf, in Syria, have been reconstructed after being pulverised into 25,000 fragments in a bombing raid in World War II. Dating from soon after 1000 BC, the basalt statues were on display in Berlin until a combination of fire and water caused devastating damage.
Following the war, there were legal and political problems in even considering restoration. Although the reunification of Germany in 1990 eased the difficulties, conservators initially feared that reconstruction of the sculptures would be impossible. However, the painstaking work eventually began in 2002 and is finally nearing completion.