Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Footage: Treasures of Palmyra Museum Before Destruction

Culture | 2017-02-25 19:56:13
Footage: Treasures of Palmyra Museum Before Destruction

By Ethar Abdulhaq

(Zaman Al Wasl)- An exclusive video footage obtained by Zaman al-Wasl shows the artifacts of
Palmyra Museum that were displayed in its halls and courtyards and those stored in the museum warehouse. The footage was filmed in spring 2015 while the Islamic State forces were advancing towards the city. During this time, the regime forces and intelligence forces were preparing themselves physically and psychologically to leave the city. News spread throughout the city as residents became aware that the city falling to the Islamic State forces only seemed a matter of time.

The video footage is exceptional by several standards since it is fairly recent and it documents the artifacts housed in Palmyra Museum before it was destroyed and many artifacts were stolen. The Museum was first raided by the regime intelligence and then by various other parties.

Several special sources said to Zaman al-Wasl that the archaeologists working in Palmyra became aware of the closeness of the regime leaving the city when they witnessed several cases being loaded with artifacts. The boxes were supposed to go to Damascus Museum, but the regime officers and intelligence stole most of those objects.

The historical city and museum of Palmyra witnessed one of the biggest campaigns of destruction in decades if not centuries. The campaign targeted all artifacts above and below ground. Multiple parties of different ideological and military direction participated in the campaign. Despite their differences, they agreed on the exploitation of the city’s heritage. It is not only the city or historical sites that were destroyed but also many people concerned with preserving it lost their lives, The famous archaeologist Khalid al-Asad, who was executed by the Islamic State forces, is one example.

The different images Zaman al-Wasl has collected since spring 2015, show the degree of destruction that was exacted against one of the oldest cities in history. While multiple actors and parties stand responsible for this destruction, international organizations and institutions concerned with protecting heritage sites remain helpless to do anything but issue statements and reports.
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