Russia’s Hermitage Museum ready to help restore Palmyra ruins

Moscow, SANA –Director of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, said the renowned museum is ready to take part in the restoration of monumental ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra.

Piotrovsky’s remarks came in response to statements made by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova who said she will ask for a close cooperation with Russia’s State Hermitage to restore the remaining historic monuments in the city.

He noted that Hermitage museum is considered to be the largest scientific institution specialized in restoration projects and enjoys a well-recognized experience in this field, adding that the restoration of St. Petersburg City’s landmarks destroyed during the World War II proves such capability.

Piotrovsky called for evaluating the volume of destruction caused by terrorism, indicating that “While the ISIS terrorist organization began their attack on Palmyra, vandalizing its archaeological ruins and exploding its monuments, our specialists started to think about means of preserving this ancient city and cooperated with all museum experts around the world to collect what is necessary for launching an international campaign to revive and rebuild the city once it is recaptured.”

He stressed that Russia will take part in the international campaign to be organized under the UNESCO’s supervision, underlining the Russian experts’ great experience in reviving heavily-damaged cultural projects

“It is early to talk about definite dates for restoration works. First of all, mines must be dismantled, detailed and accurate maps have to be drawn and work responsibilities should be divided,” said Piotrovsky, expressing confidence that ancient artifacts stolen from the National Museum will be found and restored.

For his part, the Russian President’s Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi said that evaluating the volume of destruction will help accurately estimate the time required to restore Palmyra’s monumental ruins.


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