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HomeNewsThe ruins of Palmyra, pending reconstruction five years after

The ruins of Palmyra, pending reconstruction five years after

Partial view of the set arquitectónico of the temple of Bel, with altísimas columns with capitals corinthians within the ruins of Palmyra, the greco-roman city of the thousand columns. EFE/Marga Sánchez/File
Partial view of the set arquitectónico of the temple of Bel, with altísimas columns with capitals corinthians within the ruins of Palmyra, the greco-roman city of the thousand columns. EFE/Marga Sánchez/File

Damascus, 23 aug (EFE).- Five years after the destruction of the first temple in Palmira dynamited by the jihadists of the group Islamic State (EI), the ancient ruins greco-roman are still waiting for the reconstruction, and with the terrorist threat at its doorstep.
“The fall of Palmyra, one of the World Heritage sites, had a great impact on the archaeological heritage in syria. After the entry of the terrorist group known as EI to the city and its occupation, the fate of this historic city has drifted into the unknown”, says Efe that he was director general of Antiquities and Museums of Syria, Mamun Abdelkarim, between 2012 and 2017.
After taking full control in may of 2015, the jihadists began to blow up the temples of the monumental city, beginning with the Bal Shamín, the 23 of August of that year, followed a week later the main building of the temple of Bel.
The members of the EI destroyed different parts of the higher building of Palmyra, of 2,000 years of antiquity, dedicated to the supreme deity babylon and the roof, now defunct, was originally covered in gold.
Palmira was in the centuries I and II d.C. one of the most important cultural centers of the time and a meeting point for the caravans on the Silk road, which traversed the arid desert of central Syria.
It was considered a masterpiece of architecture and town planning roman columns in its famous main street and its temples, among them the Baal.
Before the start of the conflict in march 2011, its ruins were one of the main tourist centers of the country and the region.
“This is a real tragedy for a civilization that deserves protection from all possible ways, especially because it contributed to significant cultural achievements in many areas of human, as it represented for centuries a link between East and West”, said that he was the director of antiquities during the occupancy of the EI.
The first time that the EI conquered Palmyra was the 20th of may 2015, but were expelled ten months later by the soldiers syrians, supported by the Russian aircraft.
During this first stage in Palmira, EI became the area of the ruins greco-roman in a field of mines, which later sappers russians were in charge of delete, when the effective government syrians made with your control.
In addition, the jihadists blew up the temples of Bel and Bal Shamín, as well as the Arc de Triomphe, and destroyed several statues of the museum of the city.
The Unesco considered the act as a “war crime” in the heritage of Mankind, a stock that continued when the extremist group came back.
The jihadists had returned to Palmyra on December 11, 2016, days after launching an offensive against positions of the syrian Army in the east of the central province of Homs, where it is located the city.
It was the 2 of march 2017 when the syrian forces supported by the russians retook definitely the historical city, but since then has been fortified militarily because of the threat of the Islamic State continues to a few tens of kilometers from the city.
During their second occupation, the hatred of the jihadists went beyond and blew up the front stage of the roman theatre and the Tetrapilón of Palmyra, places where executions took place as the archaeologist Khaled al-Asad, then in charge of antiquities of Palmyra.
“Our vision for the restoration of this city is to follow the international standards under the supervision of UNESCO, the International Council of Monuments and Sites, International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and the national authorities, syrian with other foreign partners, in which respect the identity of this city, its originality and its proper restoration,” explains Abdelkarim.
“We are confident that the foreign policies of international change, however, the heritage remains a factor of union and a collective identity for all syrians, as well as a project of reconciliation and heritage,” he says.
The latest news about Palmira was released two days ago, when scientists of the Institute of History of Material Culture of Russian Academy of Sciences completed a 3D model detailed of Palmyra to facilitate reconstruction, and help preserve it, according to the official syrian agency SANA..
The current director general of Antiquities and Museums of Syria, Mahmoud Hammoud, told SANA that this project is part of a series of projects in coordination with the Russian side to preserve the cultural heritage of syria, including the restoration of archeological artifacts and the complete renovation of the Museum of Palmyra.
Rania Zanoun

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