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Al-Ahed Telegram

The Ancient City of Palmyra Wipes Off the Dust of Terror

The Ancient City of Palmyra Wipes Off the Dust of Terror
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Ali Hassan - Damascus

The restoration of the Arch of Triumph is underway in the Syrian city of Palmyra. The archaeological site was destroyed by the Daesh terrorist organization while it was in control of the ancient city. Restoration work began after a memorandum of understanding was reached between the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Association Stone Industry of Russia. So what are the different stages of the plan?

Nazir Awad, director-general of the Syrian Antiquities and Museums Directorate, explains to Al-Ahed News that "meetings have taken place with Russian experts to discuss the work that will begin to restore and resurrect the Arch of Triumph. They are in the process of documenting and studying in order to outline the restoration work.”

"The necessary programs have been put in place to establish working groups concerned with documentation and preparation of documents as part of the restoration work and other teams to handle the rubble," he added.

Awad points out that "the work did not actually start, but a working paper was drawn up from the Syrian side, with specific tasks prepared for teams, as this type of work follows global standards. The coronavirus is affecting the progress of the restoration work with the Association Stone Industry of Russia, and the Directorate is in contact with UNESCO and other institutions.”

"The Syrian experts have put in place some plans, and there is no precise timetable for the completion of the work, but studies on restoration, rubble, and so on may be ready within six or eight months."

Awad continues by explaining that “Syria’s Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums is working on restoring a large number of statues that were destroyed by Daesh in cooperation with UNESCO, and the Russian side is also helping. Three agreements have been concluded with them regarding restoration work, and the Arch of Triumph agreement is moving faster than the rest. A delegation from the Hermitage Museum paid a visit and an agreement was concluded to rehabilitate the Palmyra Museum.”

"The Directorate has commended corrective measures with UNESCO to remove Damascus from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and a meeting will be held with the UN agency next June to complete this process. Then, work will move on to the fortresses of Al-Hosn, Salah al-Din, Palmyra, Aleppo, and others,” Awad concluded.