People, Travel

Iran Offers Help to Rebuild Palmyra

Iran Offers Help to Rebuild PalmyraIran Offers Help to Rebuild Palmyra

Iran has officially announced its readiness to help Syria restore the ancient city of Palmyra following the city’s liberation from the terrorist group Daesh, also known as ISIS and IS.

In a letter to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, the Vice President for Tourism Masoud Soltanifar expressed Iran’s readiness to “repair, restore and preserve” endangered cultural heritage in Syria, including the ancient city of Palmyra, according to the travel news website

Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove the medieval group out of Palmyra on last week, inflicting what the army called a “mortal blow” to militants who seized the city in a sudden offensive last May and dynamited its ancient sites, including the Temple of Bel and the Roman-era Baal Shamin Temple.

Palmyra, about 210 km northeast of Damascus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site described as having “stood at the crossroads of several civilizations,” with its art and architecture mixing Greek, Roman, Persian and Arab influences.

Following the city’s seizure by Daesh last year, Soltanifar wrote to Bokova as well as Iyad Ameen Madani, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, urging them to “spare no effort to protect the historical city.”

Before the city was captured by terrorists, most of the antiquities in the city’s museum had been transferred to Damascus.