After undergoing restorative work in Italy, two ancient Syrian busts defaced by Islamic terrorist group ISIL have been returned to the war-torn country, according to its antiquities director.
The two stone sculptures, one of a woman and the other of a man, were among those destroyed by ISIL in Palmyra, which the group captured in May 2015. Several historically significant monuments, temples and artefacts were ruined during the siege before the ancient city was taken back from the hands of the terrorists in March 2016. ISIL, however, seized Palmyra again in December.
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The two restored busts arrived in Syria earlier this week and taken to an undisclosed location.
“The two statues were returned to Syria on Tuesday and added to the 400 artefacts that were rescued from Palmyra,” Syria’s antiquities director, Maamun Abdul Karim, told AFP (via MSN).
Abdul Karim said the rehabilitation of the statue, in which cutting-edge technology was used, “is the first real, visible positive step that the international community has taken to protect Syrian heritage.”
“This is part of cultural diplomacy, which does not prevent coordination among the people of different countries to combat extremism and barbarism,” Abdul Karim continued.