ISIS forces have retaken the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, according to Syrian government media, the ISIS media wing and a human rights monitor. [...]
ISIS first seized control of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in May 2015. Syrian government forces recaptured it in March this year. [...]
ISIS demolished many of the city's ancient treasures, including the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph and the nearly 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin, as well as the Temple of Bel. — CNN
One of the tallest surviving structures from the ancient world has been totally destroyed by Isil extremists at Nimrud, the former capital of Assyria, which was captured by Iraqi government forces on 13 November. The ziggurat, which was nearly 2,900 years old, was obliterated. Only the largest Egyptian pyramids are higher than Middle Eastern ziggurats and central American step pyramids.
[...] incidents represent “the worst damage that Isil has inflicted on Iraqi archaeology”. — theartnewspaper.com
During his time in power, as head of state and as leader of the all-powerful, secularist Ba’th party, Saddam would oversee an unprecedented program of monumental development across the historic city of Baghdad. This was not limited to monuments of war and hollow bronze shells, but enormous palatial complexes, museums, art galleries, and civic squares [...] marshal it, awkwardly, unevenly, into the post-industrial age, a modern city shaped by the aspirations and egotistical tastes of a despot. — failedarchitecture.com
In the first case of its kind, the Islamic extremist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi has today (22 August), pleaded guilty to war crimes for destroying historic monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu in northern Mali. Al-Mahdi is accused of ordering the razing of nine mausoleums and the 15th-century Sidi Yahia mosque. It is the first time the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has heard a case about the demolition of cultural heritage. — theartnewspaper.com
Is planning still important in a city that's been razed to the ground by civil war? Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni thinks so. She describes life in the city of Homs, which has sustained massive destruction during the Syrian war, and reveals what she'd like it to look like in the future. — abc.net.au
As the Two-Way reported on Sunday, the Syrian government says its forces have retaken the desert city of Palmyra, in the center of Syria.
The self-declared Islamic State seized the city in May of last year — and soon unleashed a wave of destruction on its defenders, inhabitants and archaeological treasures. — npr.org
Iraq’s earliest Christian monastery has been destroyed by Isil extremists. [...] This seems to have occurred in September 2014, three months after the site on the southern outskirts of Mosul was seized by Isil forces. [...]
If the near-total destruction of Mar Elia is confirmed, 16 months after the event, it is worrying that it went unreported, since it suggests that other Christian sites may have also been destroyed without publicity. — theartnewspaper.com
Isil militants have beheaded one of Syria’s most respected archaeologists and an expert on the ancient Roman city of Palmyra. Khaled Al-Asaad, who was director of antiquities at the Unesco World Heritage Site from 1963 to 2003, was murdered on 18 August and his body tied to an ancient column within the 2,000-year-old archaeological site.
According to Abdulkarim, Al-Asaad was [...] killed for refusing to help Isil find antiquities that were hidden before the invasion of Palmyra. — theartnewspaper.com
In an apparent video message, ISIS forces occupying the ancient city of Palmyra and its environs have stated that they do not intend to bulldoze its architecture, but plan to “pulverize” unspecified statues that they believe have been worshipped by “heretics” in the past. [...] The veracity of the message cannot be independently confirmed, but it has been assumed to be authentic by specialists on the subject, including the journalist Hassan Hassan, co-author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.” — artinfo.com
Islamic State militants swept into the desert city of Palmyra in central Syria on Wednesday, and by evening were in control of it [...].
Palmyra has extra resonance, with its grand complex of 2,000-year-old colonnades and tombs, one of the world’s most magnificent remnants of antiquity [...] that has raised fears both locally and internationally that Palmyra, a United Nations world heritage site, could also suffer irrevocable damage. — nytimes.com
The ruins of an ancient city that have withstood centuries of conflict in the Syrian desert are now facing their greatest threat yet: the militants of the Islamic State.
Activists, officials and citizens of the city say ISIS has launched a prolonged assault on Palmyra, an "oasis in the desert" north of Damascus that the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO says contains the "monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world." — mashable.com
The US Army is looking to recruit the next generation of “Monuments Men and Women” to help preserve sites and cultural property in combat zones and to advise troops on heritage. [...] It is turning to museum directors, archaeologists and preservationists to fill these posts. [...]
With extremist groups such as Islamic State using the destruction of cultural heritage as a tool of war, such expertise is needed more than ever. — theartnewspaper.com
Two decades after civil war blew the Lebanese capital to rubble, the city centre boasts immaculately rebuilt streets lined with Gucci and Prada stores – but the whole place is strangely deserted
[...] the resulting place feels less souk than Duty Free airport lounge. It is a monotonous world of more swanky high street brands, from Burberry to Tag Heuer, staffed by idle shop assistants awaiting the promised customer footfall that has yet to arrive. — theguardian.com
It is a cruel irony that a region so blessed with the treasures of early human civilizations is also among those most troubled by conflict. As the violence threatens to annihilate some of history's greatest monuments, we count the cost of our irreplaceable losses — edition.cnn.com
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