06:03 GMT +318 August 2019
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    A file picture taken on March 14, 2014 shows a partial view of the theatre at the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, 215 kilometres northeast of Damascus. Islamic State group fighters advanced to the gates of ancient Palmyra on May 14, 2015

    Restoring Syrian Heritage Sites Destroyed by ISIL to Cost Blns of Dollars

    © AFP 2019 / JOSEPH EID
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    Restoring Syrian cultural heritage sites destroyed and damaged by the Islamic State terrorist group could cost Damascus billions of dollars, the country’s director-general for antiquities and museums said on Monday.

    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — In May, Islamic State captured Palmyra, subsequently destroying some of its historic sites. The Syrian government evacuated the majority of the local population and removed the most valuable artifacts from museums to prevent their theft, sale or destruction.

    "The restoration, which we will do in the long run, will be worth billions of dollars. We are currently thinking more of how to stop the destruction, not how to restore it," Maamoun Abdulkarim told reporters.

    Abdulkarim added that the project was far from being carried out, but each site, including the famous UNESCO Heritage Site Palmyra, would have a unique restoration plan.

    According to Abdulkarim, the Syrian government is struggling to resolve the issue of ISIL militants stealing over 6,500 valuable objects from local museums and selling them abroad.

    Since the beginning of the year, ISIL militants have seized, looted and destroyed several of the world's most important archaeological and cultural sites in the region.

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    Tags:
    heritage, culture, restoration, UNESCO, Palmyra, Syria
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