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UNESCO Director-General condemns news destructions in Palmyra

January 20, 2017, 21:50 UTC+3 PARIS

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova says the destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity

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PARIS, January 20. /TASS/. UNESCO experts have received a number of reports and images from satellites that confirm new destructions of monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra, the organization said in a report.

It confirmed that the destructions had affected the Tetrapylon, which used to mark a major road intersection in the antique city, and parts of the proscenium of the Roman Theater.

"This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity," UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said. "This new blow against cultural heritage, just a few hours after UNESCO received reports about mass executions in the theatre, shows that cultural cleansing led by violent extremists is seeking to destroy both human lives and historical monuments in order to deprive the Syrian people of its past and its future." "

This is why the protection of heritage is inseparable from the protection of human lives, and we must all unite to put this at the center of all efforts to build peace," Ms. Bokova added.

"The Tetrapylon was an architectural symbol of the spirit of the encounter and openness of Palmyra - and this is also one of the reasons why it has been destroyed," she said. "Its position and shape are unique in ancient architecture and testified to the specificity of Palmyrene identity, as a source of pride and dignity for all Syrians today."

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