Arab Today, arab today polish experts return to syrias palmyra to restore famed lion statue
Last Updated : GMT 14:26:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

To pieces only a decade later

Polish experts return to Syria's Palmyra to restore famed lion statue

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Polish experts return to Syria's Palmyra to restore famed lion statue

Bartosz Markowski (L), from the University of Warsaw's archeology institute
Palmyra _ Arab Today

When two Polish heritage experts first restored the famed lion statue in Syria's Palmyra in 2005, they never imagined they would see it smashed to pieces only a decade later.

"We did new restoration, new presentation of this lion, the Lion of Al-Lat. And after, I thought, I'm doing this (to last) for over 200 years or 300 years, maybe more," archaeologist Bartosz Markowski told AFP.

"But it appears it was only 10 years."

Markowski spoke to AFP at the entrance of Palmyra's museum, where the striking 15-tonne Lion of Al-Lat lay in large, jagged pieces.

It was smashed by the Islamic State group, which overran Palmyra -- known as the "Pearl of the Desert" -- in May 2015.

During their 10-month rule over the city, the jihadists executed hundreds of civilians and blew up some of Palmyra's most beautiful temples and funerary towers in the old city.

Palmyra's museum lies in the residential parts of the city.

The destroyed Lion of Al-Lat at the museum's entrance serves as a harbinger for the destruction inside: statues lay in pieces blanketed in dust and debris.
Syria's government forces recaptured the city on March 27, and experts immediately set to work assessing the damage to the city's historic ruins.

Markowski, from the University of Warsaw's archaeology institute, was the first foreign archaeologist to enter Palmyra after the regime win.

He arrived in Palmyra with his colleague Robert Zukowski, from the Polish Academy of Sciences, in mid-April for a one-week mission to evaluate the damage.

- Polish 'heroes' -

The three-metre-tall Lion of Al-Lat dated back to the 1st century BC.

It was first discovered in 1977 by a Polish archaeological mission at the temple of Al-Lat, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess.

Nearly four decades later, his hair and clothes covered in dust, Markowski patiently catalogued the broken pieces of the limestone monument.
"This lion is like our baby. We have had a sentimental relationship with this statue ever since we came in 2005 to help restore Palmyra," Markowski said.

As soon as he and Zukowski heard IS was pushed out of Palmyra, "we decided to return at the invitation of the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums of Syria," he added.

Maamun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, says the two Polish workers are "heroes."

Markowski said he felt he "had to come back as soon as possible."

"We were excited because we had not seen any photos since one year, or almost one year, since Daesh came here," he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

"The first pictures that we saw (were from) one week ago. And we saw that there is something to do here."
He told his wife he was travelling to Egypt, "because she would not have let me leave if she knew I was coming to Palmyra."

More than 270,000 people have been killed and millions have been forced to flee their homes since the conflict erupted in March 2011.

- 'Two crazy restorers' -

After being catalogued by Markowski, each piece was carefully carried by Zukowski and a Syrian colleague into large boxes.

The containers will head to Damascus, where restoration can begin.

His hands covered in blisters, Zukowski took a photograph of each broken slab of rock.

"You know I'm proud -- I'm really proud that we can come back here," Zukowski said.

He said he was confident that the lion could be restored to its previous glory but the most difficult parts to restore would be around its nostrils.

Since the Syrian regime pushed IS out of Palmyra last month, deminers -- including from a special unit dispatched by Moscow -- have been clearing explosives from Palmyra's old city.

Zukowski and Markowski had yet to assess the damage there, where the grand Temples of Bel and Baalshamin once stood, now largely reduced to rubble.

The heaviest fighting between IS and Syria's government fighters took place in the modern part of Palmyra.

Although residents have slowly begun returning to rebuild their homes and their lives, the residential neighbourhoods remain eerily quiet.

"It needs people in the town. Now it's deserted, there is no one here. Only army and some reporters. And two crazy restorers," Markowski said.
Source: AFP

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*

Arab Today, arab today polish experts return to syrias palmyra to restore famed lion statue Arab Today, arab today polish experts return to syrias palmyra to restore famed lion statue

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today To release new antiques collection

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection
Arab Today, arab today Optimism on the front line

GMT 07:24 2017 Monday ,20 February

Optimism on the front line
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار ثقافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 14:04 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

"Lagom" new Swedish concept in interior design

GMT 12:07 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Bite-mimicking malaria vaccine

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 17:36 2017 Monday ,13 February

Designer prepares to present 2017 collection
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