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Ancient Palmyra artifacts destroyed by ISIS to be restored with Russian help

Joseph Eid | AFP

Islamist militants left the ancient city badly damaged during the Syrian civil war.

Syrian and Russian archaeologists have begun work restoring artifacts in the ancient city of Palmyra after they were damaged by ISIS during the Syrian civil war.

Before the archaeological site was recaptured in 2017, Islamist militants used sledgehammers and explosives to destroy precious artifacts, including the 1st-century AD Temple of Baal-hammon and the limestone lions guarding the Temple of Al-lāt.

A group of eight Syrian archaeologists with the help of experts from the Pushkin Museum in Moscow are in the process of restoring Palmyra’s artifacts, according to a report in the Telegraph.

After Russian forces and the Syrian army recaptured Palmyra, a group of UNESCO specialists were sent to assess the damage done to artifacts.

According to the Telegraph, “statues and sarcophagi too large to be removed for safekeeping had been smashed and defaced, busts had been beheaded and were lying on the ground in ruin.”

Ancient Palmyra, which is located in modern Homs, Syria, was one of the most important cultural centers of the world, according to UNESCO, which designated it a World Heritage Site. In the mid-1st century, it was a caravan oasis when it came under Roman control. After the ruined city was discovered in the 17th and 18th centuries, its architecture, which combined Greco-Roman style with local and Persian influences, contributed to the revival of classical architectural style.


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