الجمعة , يونيو 12 2020

Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra arch'

Triumphal Arch in Palmyra (file picture)Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph was built by the Romans in the second Century AD

Islamic State militants in northern Syria have blown up another monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria’s antiquities chief says.

Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters news agency that the militants – who control the city – blew up the Arch of Triumph.

It is thought to have been built about 2,000 years ago.

IS militants have already destroyed several temples at the site, described by Unesco as one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

Unesco’s director-general Irina Bokova has said the destruction constitutes a “war crime” and called on the international community to stand united against IS efforts to “deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history”.


Ancient city of Palmyra

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The Temple of Bel, pictured here in 2009, was the great sanctuary of the Palmyrene gods

  • Unesco World Heritage site
  • Site contains monumental ruins of great city, once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world
  • Art and architecture, from the 1st and 2nd Centuries, combine Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences
  • More than 1,000 columns, a Roman aqueduct and a formidable necropolis of more than 500 tombs made up the archaeological site
  • More than 150,000 tourists visited Palmyra every year before the Syrian conflict

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