Monuments, Syria, Reconstruction, Palmyra. Temple of Baal
© Annie Wright Photography

Vital details for the reconstruction of Palmyra are contained in every photo taken before the ancient city’s destruction by ISIS in 2015. For that reason, I’ve contributed a number of photographs to a collection set up by France’s National Museum of Archeology. Very proud to play a small role in the restoration process. This collection is also part of Souvenirs Sites Éternels, an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Palmyra’s destruction by ISIS

Militants destroyed the Lion of Al-lāt and other statues on 23 May 2015 . Activists claim that the militant group then blew up the Temple of Baalshamin on 23 August 2015. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights asserts that the destruction took place one month earlier.

Subsequently, the Syrian Observatory announced that ISIS had destroyed the Temple of Bel on 30 August 2015. According to eyewitnesses, only the exterior walls remain. The United Nations also confirmed the Temple’s destruction. By 4 September 2015, ISIS had destroyed three of the best preserved tower tombs including the Tower of Elahbel. It then turned its attention to buildings with no religious meaning, including the Arch of Triumph.

In response to the destruction, on 21 October 2015, Creative Commons started an online repository of three-dimensional images published into the public domain to digitally reconstruct Palmyra.

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