The 2,000-year-old Syrian city of Palmyra, once part of the Roman Empire, has become known for the destruction caused to it by ISIS occupation between May 2015 and December 2016, is set to undergo active restoration. UNESCO director general Irina Bokova described the destruction in Palmyra as a “war crime” and an “immense loss for the Syrian people and the world”, reported Artforum.
The Syrian government announced its intentions to reopen the UNESCO World Heritage site near Homs by summer 2019 — an endeavour anticipated to cost an estimated $2 billion. It has also been reported that additional world powers have offered to contribute to the artifact restoration.
Palmyra was previously a popular tourist destination with up to 150,000 in footfall, with crowds gathering to see the Old City, the Temple f Bel, the Temple of Baalshamin, the Tetrapylon, the façade of the Roman Theatre, and the Arch of Triumph—many of which have since been destroyed by the extremist group following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.
Attempts to restore the Old City beginning later this year will hope to remove it from the world’s list of endangered World Heritage sites. Efforts to restore the likewise 2,000-year-old Homs central market began three years ago and expects to be restored by May 2019.