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Archaeologists restore historical Palmyra artifacts in Damascus museum

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Within the Nationwide Museum of Damascus, archaeologist Muntajab Youssef works on an historical stone bust from Palmyra, one in every of a whole lot of artifacts his crew is painstakingly restoring after they have been broken by Islamic State.

A specialist works on a broken statue from Palmyra at Syria’s Nationwide Museum of Damascus, Syria January 9, 2019. Image taken January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

Centuries-old statues and sculptures have been wrecked by the jihadists once they twice seized management of the previous metropolis in central Syria through the nation’s struggle, which can go into its ninth yr in March.

The 1,800-year-old bust of a bejeweled and richly clothed girl, The Fantastic thing about Palmyra, was broken through the first offensive on town by Islamic State fighters in 2015.

After Syrian authorities forces took again town with Russian navy help in March 2016, the bust, alongside different broken historical monuments, was taken to Damascus and archived in bins. When restoration work on it started final yr, Youssef mentioned it was in items.

“The arms and face have been misplaced utterly, additionally components of the gown and there are areas which can be weaker,” Youssef, who has been engaged on the bust for 2 months, mentioned.

Youssef is one in every of 12 archaeologists engaged on the arduous restoration job, which first started with the of transferring the broken items to Damascus.

Mamoun Abdulkarim, the previous Head of Syrian Antiquities, mentioned that in some circumstances damaged artifacts have been transported in empty ammunition bins offered by the Syrian military in Palmyra.

What number of artifacts there are in whole is tough to say, given the state they have been present in.

The shortage of documentation for the artifacts additionally provides to the restoration problem.

“An enormous a part of the documentation within the Palmyra museum, was broken with the antiquities and computer systems,” archaeologist Raed Abbas mentioned.

“A statue wants footage … so as to be rebuilt.”

Reporting by Kinda Makieh; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Modifying by Alison Williams

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