Work to rebuild the Arch of Triumph in Syria's Palmyra, destroyed by militants, will start in 2022, Sergey Titlinov, the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Restoration of Palmyra, told reporters.
The Department of Antiquities and Museums of Syria and the Russian "Center of Stone" signed a memorandum on the restoration of the Arch of Triumph in ancient Palmyra on November 12, 2020. It contains a plan that implies three successive stages: documentation of the current situation in accordance with scientific methodology; study of fragments and fragments to obtain virtual drawings of damage; and restoration work. A team of Russian specialists visited Palmyra in April 2021 and began the first phase of work.
"To begin with we need to conduct archaeological research, we need to conduct restoration studies, we need at the end to issue a restoration project for the Arch of Triumph. That's after that, actually, the [restoration work] will begin. I so plan that next year the real work on the restoration itself will begin," Titlinov said.
He specified that the second expedition of Russian specialists to Palmyra is planned for 2021. "We are planning the archaeological work, probably, given the season, <...> in September," Titlinov said.
Working in coordination with UNESCO
For his part, Hammam Saad, head of archaeological excavations at the Syrian Archaeology and Museums Authority, told reporters that Syrian authorities have notified UNESCO of the work to restore the Arch of Triumph. "Palmyra is on the world heritage list. We have contacted UNESCO to set up a scientific commission. The work will start soon," Saad said.
He explained that the Syrian group involved in the restoration of the Arch of Triumph is seeking a scientific commission from UNESCO to ensure that the restoration work is carried out in accordance with generally accepted world standards.
"We will keep UNESCO informed of all our steps, all the stages of our work. And, of course, as the owner of this museum complex, Syria must first inform UNESCO that this work is being done. We will coordinate all technologies and all stages of work with UNESCO", said Dmitry Medyantsev, President of the Russian Stone Industry Association "Center of Stone", who heads the group of Russian archeologists and 3D modelers visiting Palmyra.
The Russian side intends to involve specialists of different directions and from different countries, said the president of the association. "Coordination of this work is very important. We will coordinate this work. And, of course, funding is also necessary," Medyantsev said.
World Heritage Site
Palmyra (Tadmor) is one of the richest cities of late antiquity in the oasis of the Syrian desert between Damascus and the Euphrates. It is said to have been founded by King Solomon of the Bible. The ruins of Palmyra are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Militants of the IS terrorist group (banned in Russia) captured the city in May 2015 and destroyed several ancient monuments, including the Arch of Triumph, the statue of Allat the Lion, the Temple of Baalshamin and the city's largest structure, the Temple of Bel, built under Emperor Tiberius in 32 AD.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Creative Commons
Based on materials from TASS