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    Temple of Baal-Shamin in Palmyra, Syria

    'Would Be an Honor': Damascus Hopes Russia Will Help Restore Palmyra

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    The Syrian government hopes that Russia will help it undo the damage that a year of Daesh occupation has done to the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria’s Culture Minister Issam Khalil said Thursday.

    PALMYRA (Sputnik) — Palmyra, a 2,000-year UNESCO World Heritage site, was recaptured by Syrian forces last month, with the aid from Russian Aerospace Forces.

    "We hope that Russian experts will help restore Palmyra. They were our allies in the victory [over Daesh] and we’d like them to be our partners in the next phase, which is its restoration," Khalil told RIA Novosti.

    The culture minister said Syrian authorities were assessing the damage that Daesh militants had done to Palmyra’s ancient treasures to work out a plan on how to bring them back and set a restorations timeline.

    "As soon as we outline a national plan on rebuilding the devastated Palmyra, we will welcome international help. Of course, a contribution from Russian experts would be an honor," he said.

    According to preliminary estimates, some 20 percent of ancient Palmyra was destroyed, while many exhibits were looted from museums. It could take around five years to restore the city.

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    Tags:
    Issam Khalil, Russia, Palmyra, Syria
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