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'Islamic State's' destruction of Palmyra temple 'war crime': UNESCO - Daily News Egypt

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‘Islamic State’s’ destruction of Palmyra temple ‘war crime’: UNESCO

The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO has called the destruction of a famed Roman temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra a “war crime.” The site was considered the second-most significant in the ancient city. “This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” UNESCO head Irina …


The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO has called the destruction of a famed Roman temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra a “war crime.” The site was considered the second-most significant in the ancient city.

“This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” UNESCO head Irina Bokova said in a statement on Monday, calling for the perpetrators to be made “accountable for their actions.”

“Daesh (‘IS’) is killing people and destroying sites, but cannot silence history and will ultimately fail to erase this great culture from the memory of the world,” the statement went on.

“Extremists seek to destroy this diversity and richness, and I call on the international community to stand united against this persistent cultural cleansing,” it added.

The destruction of the Baal Shamin temple by “IS” jihadists was confirmed by the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, but the date of its demolition remains unclear, with Syria’s antiquities chief Maamoun Abdul Karim saying the temple was blown up on Sunday, while the Observatory said the building had been demolished a month ago.

Endangered world heritage

‘IS’ militants, who hold parts of Syria and Iraq, seized the city of Palmyra, known as the “Pearl of the Desert,” from government forces in May. The city, located some 210 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of the capital, Damascus, is famed for its well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins.

Before the city was captured, Syrian officials reportedly moved hundreds of ancient statues to safe locations away from the militants, who have already destroyed other heritage sites in the areas they hold.

The Baal Shamin temple was built nearly 2,000 years ago in 17 AD, then expanded under the Roman emperor Hadrian in 130 AD.

News of the destruction of the temple came only days after ‘IS’ beheaded the 82-year-old retired chief archaeologist in Palmyra, Khaled al-Asaad. Asaad had been in charge of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage ruins for four decades.


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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/24/islamic-states-destruction-palmyra-temple-war-crime-unesco/
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