Why ISIS Wants to Destroy Syria’s Cultural Heritage

08 Oct 2015 1:41 PM | Anonymous

Why ISIS Wants to Destroy Syria’s Cultural Heritage

The destruction of the Arch of Triumph

When ISIS occupied the UNESCO-designated World Heritage site city of Palmyra in Syria May 2015, the international community wondered what fate awaited these majestic ruins. Would they be pillaged for profit, fall victim to another cultural atrocity, or both?

The world did not have to wait long for its answer: In just 10 days, between the last week of August and the first week of September, the smaller temple of Baal Shamin, the grand temple of Bel and three funerary towers from the necropolis were blown up in what has become the hallmark signature of ISIS’s destruction of cultural heritage sites. Now, ISIS has destroyed yet another iconic landmark of Palmyra: the monumental arch know as the Arch of Triumph that stands at the entrance to the Grand Colonnade. Reports indicate that preparations are underway to destroy the amphitheater and the nearby Agora.