Archeaologist says '70% of Palmyra can be rebuilt'

'Damaged but not pulverized', says Matthiae

30 June, 19:44

    ROME - The large archaeological site Palmyra in Syria was severely damaged by the Islamic State (ISIS) but not pulverized and can be almost entirely rebuilt, said Paolo Matthiae.

    The archaeologist, a prominent international expert, said that most of the ruins can be restored using traditional methods. Speaking at the presentation of the exhibition 'I Volti di Palmira' ('The Faces of Palmyra') in Aquileia, which will run from July 2 until October 3 at the National Archaeological Museum of the Friuli city, the discoverer of Ebla said that the Syrian authorities had begun to carefully study the parts that have collapsed and that an initial analysis had shown that many of the stones can be restored. A French company was tasked with the initial assessment but Italy's Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro has restored two damaged sculptures currently at an exhibition at the Colosseum, after which they will be given back to Syrian.

    ''The archaeological site of Palmyra is a vast field of ruins and only 20-30% of it is seriously damaged. Unfortunately these included important parts, such as the Temple of Bel, while the Arc of Triumph can be rebuilt,'' he said. ''In any case, by using both traditional methods and advanced technologies, it might be possible to restore 98% of the site.''

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