Russian archaeologists offer to help rebuild Palmyra

2016-03-31 10:30
A part of the ancient city of Palmyra. (Christophe Charon, AFP)

A part of the ancient city of Palmyra. (Christophe Charon, AFP)

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Moscow - Archaeologists in Russia are offering help to rebuild Syria's ancient city of Palmyra following its recapture from ISIS.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power, gained control of the city earlier this month after days of intense fighting, state media and a monitoring group said.

Palmyra, known as the "bride of the desert", used to attract tens of thousands of tourists a year before the conflict started in 2011.

In May, ISIS took Palmyra in a matter of days and later demolished some of its best-known monuments.

The group also destroyed the infamous Tadmur prison, where thousands of government opponents were reported to have been tortured.

READ MORE: UN confirms destruction of famed Palmyra temple

Through ISIL-produced videos and satellite imagery, it was already known that the Temple of Bel, dating back to 32 AD three funerary towers, the Temple of Baalshamin - one of the most complete ancient structures on the site - and the 2 000-year-old Arch of Triumph had been destroyed.

The extent of the damage, however, was not verifiable until now.

"The overall image is very frustrating, especially as an archeologist that has been looking at these images before, it’s a horrible sight," Otto Ottonello, a digital archaeologist, told Al Jazeera.

"So we recreated most of the things that we thought were destroyed or partially damaged and made some three-dimensional models of them. And then we thought about making holograms of it."

Read more on:    isis  |  russia  |  iraq  |  archaeology

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