The Director-General of UNESCO firmly condemned the destruction of cultural property at Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, particularly damage to funerary busts and the famous Lion Statue of Athena, located at the entrance of the museum of Palmyra, according to the UNESCO.
"These new destructions of cultural goods of the site of Palmyra reflect the brutality and ignorance of extremist groups and their disregard of local communities and of the Syrian people," said Irina Bokova.
"The destruction of funerary busts of Palmyra in a public square, in front of crowds and children asked to witness the looting of their heritage is especially perverse. These busts embody the values of human empathy, intelligence and honor the dead. They also represent a wealth of information on costumes, jewelry, traditions and history of the Syrian people. Their destruction is a new attempt to break the bonds between people and their history, to deprive them of their cultural roots in order to better enslave them, "she added.
"I reiterate my call to all religious leaders, intellectuals, young people, to stand up against the manipulation of religion, to respond to the false arguments of extremists in all media and through the campaign #unite4heritage.
"I commend the courage of the youth from the Arab world who are committed to protecting their heritage as a source of strength, resilience and hope in the future.
"I call on all Member States, the art market and experts to join forces to curb the illicit traffic of cultural property," she concluded.