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"We Will Spare No Effort to Bring Brightness Back to Palmyra": Culture Minister

HOMS, (ST)- Minister of Culture Mohammad al-Ahmad, accompanied by Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi, has visited the historical Syrian city of  Palmyra to see the damage caused by Deash terrorists to the archeological sites of the city before the Syrian army, in a major military operation recaptured it.

The minister's tour in Palmyra covered the Palmyra Museum, the Palmyra Theater and The Temple of Bel.

In a statement to reporters during his tour in the city, al-Ahmad said Daesh terrorists wanted through their barbaric acts, particularly the destruction of the façade of the Roman Theater and the Tetrapylon columns to "eradicate the Syrians' memory, identity and humanitarian heritage.

 He added that "taking revenge from stone means that the terrorists have certainly failed to achieve their goal and confirms that Syria is a strong victorious state."

Al-Ahmad was briefed by concerned officials in the Palmyra Antiquities Directorate on means to restore the damage caused to the city, stressing that "the ministry will spare no effort to restore brightness to the archeological city of Palmyra in cooperation with the General  Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (GDAM), UNESCO, the Agha Khan Network and all the organizations that are interested in protecting the Syrian and world heritage".

Al-Ahmad said agreements with international partners are to be implemented in the coming days, pointing out  that the GDAM and the technical team are following up all issues relating to starting renovation works in order to fix the damage caused by Daesh in Palmyra.

On his part the Governor referred to the huge destruction left by the terrorists in the city, saying they targeted Syria's history, civilization and culture. He affirmed that all concerned parties in the governorate will work in accordance with the government's program in order to restore life to the archeological city and to start renovation activities after finishing necessary studies.

He said this work will be done in parallel with rehabilitation activities in the residential areas as to help displaced people to return to their homes within the coming few weeks.'

Mamoun Abdulkarim, Director General of the GDAM in Syria , also talked during the tour about the difficulty of renovating the temple of Bel after its barbaric destruction by the terrorists.

 He said renovation work can restore only 40% -50 %  of the temple, pointing out that the fences and facades of the temple are in a good condition but the structure is badly damaged.

Abdulkarim reiterated that the GDAM will do its best  to restore all the damaged monuments.

Rawaa Ghanam