Destruction of Palmyra war crime: Director-General of UNESCO

The Baalshamin temple erected in the first century AD was, according to several reports, blown up on 23 August last summer. The temple is part of the site of Palmyra – one of the most important cultural heritages of the world. The Greco-Roman monumental ruins have been targeted by IS time after time. The UNESCO Director-General called on the international community to stand united against “cultural cleansing”.

“The art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity and history”, the Director-General said. “Such acts are war crimes and their perpetrators must be accountable for their actions. UNESCO stands by all Syrian people in their efforts to safeguard their heritage, a heritage for all humanity.”