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Russia’s Hermitage museum to take part in restoration of Syria’s Palmyra — museum director

March 28, 9:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Syrian army on Sunday said that it had liberated the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, with support from the Russian miltiary group in Syria
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MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Specialists from Russia’s State Hermitage, a museum of fine arts and culture in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg, will take an active part in restoration of monuments of culture in Syria’s Palmyra, Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Hermitage director, said on Sunday.

"Naturally, we will take an active part, we will share our experiences. The experiences of restoration of Leningrad-St. Petersburg, our monuments and the city’s environs," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

Restoration of Palmyra is an accomplishable task, Piotrovsky said but warned against hasty steps. "It is quite accomplishable but we should not seek to restore what was never been there… It is necessary to examine everything what used to be standing there but what is now in ruins. And it is possible to gradually restore it," he said.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said earlier on Sunday UNESCO is beginning to consider options for the preservation and restoration of remaining historic monuments in the ancient city and hopes for close cooperation with Russia’s State Hermitage.

The Syrian army on Sunday said that it had liberated the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, with support from the Russian air group.

Palmyra, an ancient city in Syria’s Homs province, was seized by gunmen of the Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) in early summer 2015. The Syrian authorities said back then that Palmyra with its monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, could share the miserable fate of Iraq’s ancient cities of Assur, Nimrud and Hatra that were destroyed by Islamic State militants.

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