Emergency plan set to rehabilitate terror-defiant archeological Palmyra

“Re-constructing some vandalized ruins is possible despite the ultimate losses that are archeologically irredeemable in terms of genuineness” (REPORT)

Damascus, SANA – Primary ideations for a rehabilitation plan to restore glory of Palmyra have been set up after the archeological city was cleared of terrorists by the Army, the Director General of Antiquities and Museums Directorate (DGAM) said on Sunday.

“Re-constructing some vandalized ruins is possible in spite of “the ultimate losses that are archeologically irredeemable in terms of genuineness,” DGAM Director-General Maamoun Abdul –Karim added.

Palmyra rehabilitation 2

The Syrian Army has retaken the archeological city of Palmyra- a UNESCO world Heritage site- and eliminated ISIS terrorists’ posts after they had perpetrated acts of vandalism to many prominent sites in the desert city.

Experts will estimate the volume of damage on a field visit in the upcoming days for making emergency works and setting up strategies for rehabilitating monuments such as Palmyra Castle and re-building the temples of Baalshamin and Bel, the Arch of Triumph and the funerary towers, which were demolished by ISIS terrorists last year.

“The general and known viewpoint prefers not to re-build antiquities but in the case of Palmyra it is different …We seek to restore the devastated temples in a way that preserves its historical identity depending on the original stones remaining in the site or bringing new identical ones from the city’s quarry,” Abdul-Karim said.

Palmyra rehabilitation 3

“A unique symbolism is now added to the world-famous historical city after having defied terrorism,” DGAM Director-General said in reference to Palmyra’s newly acquired terror-challenging symbol, clarifying that rehabilitating works will be carried out with the aim of having these antiquities witnesses to the terror atrocities.

DGAM has a qualified staff of construction engineers and archeologists of high scientific competence and good experience in the archeological restoration and the rehabilitation of archeological buildings after events such as war and catastrophes.

DGAM will carry out works of rehabilitation and restoration in cooperation with local and international partners from the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).

“It is worth mentioning,” Abdul-Karim said, “that 70 years ago, DGAM carried out rehabilitation works under the supervision of Archeologist Khaled al-Asaad, an iconic figure from the ancient city who was decapitated by ISIS terrorists last year.”

On 19 of April, a monument of Palmyra Arch of Triumph will be put in London Square. The six-meter high monument- weighing 12 tons – has been designed by the Institute of Digital Archeology at Oxford University in coordination with the DGAM and it is to tour several world cities including New York before it is finally placed in Syria.

Abdel-karim pointed out that the DGAM rehabilitated numerous archaeological sites after the Syrian Arab Army restored security and stability to the areas containing them, such as Krak des Chevaliers, not to mention restoration work implemented in Ma’aloula and the Old City in Homs.

Rasha Milhem/ Ghossoun



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