Damascus, Aug 23 . .- The Archaeological Museum of the Greco-Roman ruins of Palmyra, in Syria, lost some 3,500 pieces in the time when the archaeological site was occupied by the jihadist group Islamic State, reported this Sunday the director general of Antiquities and Museums of Syria, Mohamed Hamud.
Two days after the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the destruction of Palmira at the hands of the Islamic State, Hamud told Efe that, in addition to the loss of these museum assets, the occupants made hundreds of illegal excavations in the old city, declared a World Heritage Site. Humanity by Unesco.
Before the conflict began, Palmira, which has an area of 10 square kilometers, was one of the main tourist attractions in the region
However, the Islamic State occupied the place twice: from May 2015 for ten months and from December 2016 for four, and laid it with mines and damaged its main structures.
In addition to destroying several statues, he dynamited the temples of Bel and Bal Shamín and the 2,000-year-old Arco del Trifunfo, which have yet to be restored.
Hamud acknowledged that since the second recovery of the city by the Syrian Army in March 2017, “no significant restoration work has been carried out in Palmyra”, that is, neither temples nor monuments, due “to the lack of financial, logistical resources and the required experience ”.
Yes, 70 small pieces have been restored in cooperation with Russia and Oman, who offered to carry out these works in their National Museum.
In addition, with the cooperation of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, work is being done on the documentation of the ancient city using the 3D recording technique.
Major recoveries, such as those of the Temple of Bel and the Arc de Triomphe, destroyed by the jihadists of the Islamic State group, require an enormous amount of money and the Syrian state cannot currently carry out that financial effort after nine years of civil war .