Antiquities expert on Palmyra visit: 'Syria can’t possibly restore the destroyed artifacts'

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tags: Palmyra, ISIS, ISIL, Ancient Artifacts



Thumbnail Image -  Funerary Temple, CC BY-SA 2.5

In May of last year, the Islamic State captured the ancient city of Palmyra, in Homs province. Over the next 10 months, IS fighters used the city’s ancient amphitheater for public executions, all the while systematically destroying and damaging some of the UNESCO World Heritage site’s most treasured monuments and artifacts.

Just over a month ago, the Syrian Arab Army backed by Russian air support retook Palmyra after days of intense fighting left several of the town’s neighborhoods flattened.

When antiquities expert Sara Noureddin, living in regime-controlled Damascus and working at the National Museum, heard that Palmyra had been retaken, she “felt joyful and glad,” she tells Syria Direct’s Bahira Zarier.

Three days later, Noureddin travelled alongside other archaeology and antiquities specialists to see for herself what became of the “bride of the desert,” as Palmyra is known among Syrians. Noureddin saw damage to the two main temples, the triumphal arch and the ancient cemetery.

“Specialists are still working to estimate the exact scale of the damage, but it’s around 30 percent.”




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