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ISIS destroys the façade of the Roman Theatre and Tetrapylon in Palmyra

(SANA, H.Said/Ghossoun) ~ Local sources in Tadmur (Palmyra) city in the eastern countryside of Homs told SANA on Friday that ISIS terrorist organizations has destroyed the façade of the Roman Theatre and the Tetrapylon in the archeological site of Palmyra.

Speaking from inside the city of Palmyra, the sources told SANA reporter that ISIS terrorists planted explosives at the façade of the Theatre and the “Tetrapylon”, a very famous monument constituting of 16 columns, in the main street in the ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The terrorists detonated the explosives and demolished the two monuments.

Two days ago, ISIS committed a massacre in Palmyra city in which it killed at least 12 people, including 4 employees and two teachers, who were earlier kidnapped.

The terrorist group recaptured Palmyra in December for a second time after it was liberated by the Syrian Arab Army, backed by Russia, in March. The ancient city fell in the hands of ISIS for the first time in 2015.

ISIS earlier destroyed the tomb towers that date back to various eras extending between 44 and 103 DC.

The terrorist organizations also demolished the Temple of Bell and the Temple of Baalshamin inside the ancient city and destroyed the Lion of al-L?t statue and eight other statues.



UNESCO: Destruction of Tetrapylon and façade of the Roman Theatre in Palmyra War crime

UNESCO has condemned as a “war crime” the destruction of the Tetrapylon and the façade of the Roman Theatre in Palmyra city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in the eastern countryside of Homs by ISIS terrorist organization.

“This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said Friday.

“This new blow against cultural heritage shows that cultural cleansing led by violent extremists is seeking to destroy both human lives and historical monuments in order to deprive the Syrian people of its past and its future. This is why the protection of heritage is inseparable from the protection of human lives, and we must all unite to put this at the center of all efforts to build peace,” Bokova added.

Syrian Culture Minister: The destruction of façade of Roman Theatre and Tetrapylon in Palmyra is a war crime


(SANA, M. al-Frieh/H. Said) ~ Culture Minister Mohammad al-Ahmad affirmed that the destruction of the façade of the Roman Theatre and the Tetrapylon in the archeological site of Palmyra by ISIS terrorists is a war crime and a “Zionist demand” per excellence.

In a press conference at the National Museum in Damascus, al-Ahmad said “what happened last Friday is obviously a Zionist demand and a Zionist attempt supported by the West and the petroleum sheikhdoms to destroy our identity, heritage and civilization.”

He added that the monuments in Palmyra do not belong to Syria alone, but they belong to the whole world, “and here comes the role of the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards this horrible brutality unprecedented in history,” calling on the international community to support Syria in its battle for defending Palmyra against those who want to destroy its ruins and civilization.

He pointed out that the continued presence of ISIS terrorists in the city of Palmyra will expose the city to further risks as the terrorist organization destroyed in 2015 the tomb towers that date back to various eras extending between 44 and 103 DC, in addition to parts of the Temple of Bel and the Temple of Bel Shamin and murdering archeologist Khaled al-Asaad.

Responding to SANA question, the Minister said the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums at the Ministry of Culture has managed during the terrorist war on Syria to rescue the absolute majority of museum collections from theft as it transported more than 90% of these pieces to safe places in cooperation with the local community, indicating that the rate of theft, including stolen items from Raqqa Museum, did not exceed 1%.

The Minister pointed out that the Directorate has documented, packaged and photographed all the pieces which have been transported to Damascus and safe areas, particularly the acquisitions of the museums in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo and Palmyra, Hama, Homs, Daraa and Quneitra, in addition Lattakia and Tartous.

He added that since 2012, the Directorate has started exceptional relations with the international culture organizations such as UNESCO and International Council of Museums (ICOM), Interpol and International Customs to garner support for its efforts to protect its cultural heritage.

Syrian News Agency Reports
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