Should Palmyra be restored?

President Bashar al-Assad hailed the victory as “important,” as his Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin congratulated Damascus for retaking the UNESCO world heritage site.

Photographer Joseph Eid captures photos of Palmyra - one of the world's most intact ancient ruins - before and after IS occupation. The juxtaposition is wrenching.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian air strikes, forced the Islamic State from the city of Palmyra at the end of March, ending the 10-month siege of one of Syria's - and mankind's - most significant archaeological sites. Now, after a brutal occupation that cost nearly 300 lives, the world is taking stock of what remains.

One of the first to return was Joseph Eid, a Lebanese photographer with Agence France-Presse, who'd visited the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2014 and left with a feeling of dread.

"When I arrived two years ago, I did my best to document the tiniest things; there was an idea haunting me that maybe the world wouldn't be able to see these amazing vestiges again."

Within a year, his fears for Palmyra were realised. "The pictures I had were like a treasure for me, as they were almost the last pictures of Palmyra as the world knew it."

The Syrian army, backed by Russian air strikes, forced the Islamic State from the city of Palmyra at the end of March, ending the 10-month siege of one of Syria's - and mankind's - most significant archaeological sites.

Now, after a brutal occupation that cost nearly 300 lives, the world is taking stock of what remains.

One of the first to return was Joseph Eid, a Lebanese photographer with Agence France-Presse, who'd visited the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2014 and left with a feeling of dread.

"When I arrived two years ago, I did my best to document the tiniest things; there was an idea haunting me that maybe the world wouldn't be able to see these amazing vestiges again."

Within a year, his fears for Palmyra were realised.

Read the full article here

[[nid:283989]]