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Russia’s cultural envoy calls ‘barbaric’ Palmyra monuments destruction by terrorists

January 27, 18:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It emerged on December 20 that militants of the Islamic State terrorist group had destroyed the facade of the Roman Theater and the Tetrapylon architectural complex in Palmyra
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. The destruction of monuments by terrorists in the Syrian ancient town of Palmyra is ‘outrageous barbarity,’ Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi told TASS on Friday.

"What is happening there is outrageous barbarity and it is horrible that we have no instruments to stop it, except real military actions," Shvydkoi said.

It emerged on December 20 that militants of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) had destroyed the facade of the Roman Theater and the Tetrapylon architectural complex in Palmyra. It is not known yet how much architectural monuments have been damaged by the vandals.

Russian specialists made a trip to Palmyra after it was liberated from Islamic State terrorists with the assistance of Russia’s air task force in March last year and demined by engineer combat groups from Russia.

The report on the results of the trip was submitted to UNESCO while Director of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum and President of the Union of Russian Museums Mikhail Piotrovsky proposed that the Culture Ministry of Russia should set up a commission for restoring monuments in Syria. Russian archeologists stayed in Palmyra until September.

"Specialists can’t be sent there until the war is over there and the territories are cleared of mines again," Shvydkoi said.

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