Russian Hermitage to Sign Agreement with Syrian Government to Restore Palmyra’s Museum

The Russian Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Syrian government are planning to sign an agreement in November on restoring the museum of the ancient city of Palmyra and on training Syrian restoration artists according to the Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky.

"Currently, the text [of the document] is being agreed. Our proposition is to take part in restoring the Palmyra museum because it need to be restored, the museum means jobs, it attracts tourists and so on," Piotrovsky told TASS news agency.

 He pointed out that Hermitage experts are willing to organize master classes for Syrian restoration artists. At the same time, modern technologies will be widely used.

 "Our colleagues, Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for the History of Material Culture architects and archeologists, prepared a virtual model reconstructing Palmyra as it was before its first, second and third destructions. There is also a highly precise 3D footage, and both will be presented to the Palmyra museum as a gift," he said, according to TASS.

In August, Piotrovsky shared an opinion that it will take up to two years to restore the museum after the works begin, following talks with Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums Directorate.

 World Heritage Site

The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the Bride of the Syrian Desert, was an important hub along ancient trade routes, particularly the Great Silk Road, in Western Asia. Its heyday encompassed the 1st-3rd centuries AD, when a number of architectural monuments were built in the city, which have been preserved in the desert up to this day. UNESCO placed Palmyra on its list of world cultural heritage sites.

The terrorist groups who controlled Palmyra from May 2015 through March 2016 and from December 2016 through March 2017 destroyed a number of monuments there.