recapture a blessing but much of palmyra is lost
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Recapture a blessing but much of Palmyra is lost

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Recapture a blessing but much of Palmyra is lost

A tourist sign at the ancient city of Palmyra
Paris - AFP

Historian of the ancient world Maurice Sartre explains what Syria's capture of Palmyra from the Islamic State group will mean for the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Q: What is your initial response to the news that the Syrian army has recaptured Palmyra?

A: One can only rejoice at the ousting of IS, which is founded on extreme violence and organised the systematic destruction of ancient artefacts. It's a blessing both for the site and the people who live nearby. There's no question about that -- even if we know the city is now in the hands of another dictator, (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad.

Q: What now?

A: First we need a precise record of the destruction. The Syrian director general of antiquities left for Palmyra from Damascus this evening to complete a survey.

There will be two types of destruction. First, the most famous and visible, which we know about because IS made a point of showing us: the destruction of the two major Temples of Bel and Baal Shamin, the triumphal arches, the seven tower tombs.

Then there will be what is not visible, by which I mean the destruction of underground tombs and everything that has been pillaged from the site.

The Syrian regime will obviously try to pin all of the blame on IS, but some of this will not have been their fault. We are well aware that before the arrival of IS, Assad's army also pillaged Palmyra.

The tombs of the south-eastern necropolis, which were brilliantly restored by Japanese architects in the 2000s, were totally destroyed. There are photographs of soldiers carrying busts from the site.

My fear is that we will focus on the destruction of the major sites, which is obviously extremely serious, at the expense of what has been lost through pillaging, especially those artefacts which are not known.

One mustn't forget that only around 15 to 20 percent of Palmyra had actually been excavated, and so there was an enormous amount yet to discover. All the tombs we hadn't excavated and have now been totally pillaged are lost to science forever.

Q: What purpose will the survey serve?

A: We must see what can be recovered. I've watched videos posted by journalists on the scene, and it's clear that we will likely to be able to completely reconstruct the main arch, which was bulldozed by IS, because all the blocks are still there.

What we don't know, however, because journalists couldn't get there -- there are probably mines -- is the state of the stones that made up the two temples. If they've been reduced to dust, as is well possible, there is nothing we can do, but if the stones themselves remain we can reconstruct the temples. It would be extremely expensive, but it's possible.
Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

recapture a blessing but much of palmyra is lost recapture a blessing but much of palmyra is lost

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

recapture a blessing but much of palmyra is lost recapture a blessing but much of palmyra is lost

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 10:35 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Arab Today, arab today New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way

GMT 02:36 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way
Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today France sanctions businesses linked

GMT 01:58 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

France sanctions businesses linked
Arab Today, arab today Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 02:09 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Turkey detains dozens more
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 07:22 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Zimbabwe's next leader heads home after Mugabe exit

GMT 07:23 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Zimbabwe's next leader heads home after Mugabe exit

GMT 22:38 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Bahrain Press headlines

GMT 20:34 2018 Saturday ,20 January

Bahrain press headlines

GMT 16:25 2016 Thursday ,22 December

Italian bank Monte Paschi edges closer to state bailout

GMT 06:03 2014 Wednesday ,09 April

Please .. Let Gaza breathe!

GMT 09:12 2017 Friday ,17 November

Gleam Futures represents Grace Beverley

GMT 04:18 2017 Sunday ,26 November

Bella magazine appoints celebrity writer

GMT 06:00 2017 Sunday ,29 October

Childrenswear brand Once appoints Dyelog

GMT 16:33 2014 Thursday ,13 November

Al-Ehtimam Bil Aakhareen

GMT 03:34 2017 Sunday ,05 November

Needle & Thread relocates press office

GMT 14:56 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Ryanair says formally recognises pilots' union

GMT 16:03 2017 Thursday ,21 December

US hits Myanmar general in new global rights sanctions
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday