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Russia to hand over files on restoration of Syria’s Palmyra to UNESCO

The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was an important hub along ancient trade routes

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. In the coming months, Moscow will share its files on restoring Syria’s Palmyra with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and this includes a 3D model, Russia’s Defense Minister and President of the Russian Geographical Society (RGO) Sergey Shoigu revealed in an interview with TASS, Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Earlier, the UN world heritage organization had emphasized the need to raise funds for restoring Syria’s internationally-renowned cultural site. "When we called for that, saying well, let’s do it, it’s time to do that, various movements, neither scientific nor cultural nor geographical, started meddling. Here we want to loudly exclaim: "Hey, guys, where are you? You wept and said that Palmyra must be restored," Shoigu accentuated.

Members of the Russian Geographical Society continue to work on this. "We are combing through our archives. We have uncovered photos of Palmyra taken in 1872 by the first Russian travelers who arrived there. Now we are putting together an album in which we want to show what was there and what has been done. This endeavor is needed to understand what to do next. For this, we are creating a 3D model of Palmyra. I believe soon, maybe in a month or two, we will send these files to UNESCO so that they could assess the overall volume of restoration works," he stressed.

The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was an important hub along ancient trade routes, particularly the Great Silk Road, in Western Asia. Its heyday encompassed the 1st-3rd centuries AD, when a number of architectural monuments were built in the city, which have been preserved in the desert up to this day.

UNESCO placed Palmyra on its list of world cultural heritage sites. The militants who controlled Palmyra from May 2015 through March 2016 and from December 2016 through March 2017 destroyed a number of monuments there.