…On Wednesday it became known that the Minoborony gave the go-ahead the research Institute for cultural and natural heritage. Likhachev on monitoring expedition you expedition fixation) on the objects of cultural heritage in the North of Syria. Trip scientists agreed with the Syrian authorities, will be held in the near future, her goal is to understand the state of things as at all the monuments destroyed, and what to do with them next. We are talking about the ancient settlements between Aleppo and Idlib, including those associated with the life of St. Simeon the Stylite.
About how important it is now to monitor Christian heritage on the territory liberated Syria, we were told by a famous Egyptologist Victor Solkin in the course of General archaeological perspectives on East.
Victor, don’t know everything about the Institute. Likhachev, however he is competent in such matters?
— I know them well. The heritage Institute is known in Russia primarily for its programmes associated with the Russian North — a project that studies Pomerania, Christianity on the Solovetsky Islands. They have a unique study experience practically destroyed monuments, and the example of Solovetsky monastery they showed significant results. With the help of the excavation, with the help of new technology it very clearly able to show a monastic life in the late nineteenth century. They also spetsializiruyutsya on the conservation of monuments; so that the heritage Institute is a worthy structure.
But they were not working before in Syria?
They have never had programs in Islamic countries. Did not work in the East. But I think they absolutely can do this. After all it is obvious that in the liberated territories in Syria must archaeological intervention. First, you need to understand the level of damage that was inflicted by air strikes, or various objects. You have to understand that many of the monuments were literally destroyed to the Foundation, there is not a stone remained. And here a situation where the heritage Institute was perfectly capable of because they have. capturing the state of archaeological sites and b). the reconstruction of the crumbs and conservation. Moreover, what in the Christian story they strong. So this project is difficult, but I think quite effective.
But this is only the first stage?
— Of course. First, the description that evaluates the level of losses, mapping, conservation, and then only… restoration. Restoration, of course, will pursue other disciplines and the best of Russian, in my opinion, is the Institute. Grabar. Here they just have experience in the middle East. Although there were many emotional comments in the press in favor of the State Hermitage Museum, but I believe that only the Grabar Institute in Moscow can fully restore what is POSSIBLE are still there.
“But the paradoxical thing is that ISIS (or, more precisely, the war) imposed upon these ancient times, the second story, the second value… And not all require 100% recovery.
Yes, I too adhere to this point of view — it is one thing to preserve the historical original, the other is to take the modern plastic and concrete to recreate the destroyed arch in Palmyra. In today’s professional restoration and the archaeological community such reconstructions and remakes are NOT ACCEPTED. Good enough that our troops quickly occupied the most important archaeological centers in Syria, and a lot of them. So first you need to preserve what was destroyed, and only then decide — whether to recreate some monuments. But to solve very carefully.