ST. PETERSBURG, August 21. /TASS/. Russian archaeologists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture (IHMC) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) will carry out a new photo shoot of the World Heritage Sites in Syria’s Palmyra, the press service of the institute reported on Wednesday after the meeting between RAS IHMC Deputy Director Natalya Solovyova and Head of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) Mahmoud Hammoud in Damascus.
The parties discussed the future help of Russian experts to Syrian colleagues in planning the restoration of Palmyra’s monuments with the help of a 3D model of this ancient city.
"We agreed on joint work to preserve archaeological monuments in Syria, firstly ancient Palmyra. The Syrian colleagues thanked us for the work made when preparing the 3D-model and wished for the wider participation of Russian experts in the preservation of cultural heritage sites in Syria. In November, there are plans to sign documents on cooperation between the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, the RAS IHMC and the Hermitage. And in the coming days a group of Russian scientists will fly to Palmyra again to end the aerial photography of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites," the press service quoted Solovyova as saying.
The Syrian side also wants Russia to receive and educate young Syrian archaeologists and restoration experts and Russian specialists to start the archaeological research of Syrian monuments in the near future, the RAS IHMC representatives noted.
Hermitage Director General Mikhail Piotrovsky and famous architect and specialist in Roman culture Maxim Atayants took part in the conversation through a video conference.
Three dimensions of Palmyra
The 3D-model of Palmyra’s monuments destroyed by IS (Islamic State, a terrorist organization that is outlawed in Russia) terrorists after the second seizure of the ancient city in 2015 was created based on the photos made by Russian archaeologists from the RAS Institute for the History of Material Culture and the State Hermitage.
After Palmyra’s liberation by the Syrian army a team of researchers from St. Petersburg headed by RAS IHMC Deputy Director Natalya Solovyova carried out an expedition to Palmyra in September 2016 to register the scale of destruction, carry out a photo shoot and create a 3D-model of the whole architectural and landscape complex. It took about a year for the Russian experts to build this model.