Subject of a recent BBC 4 documentary, architectural historian Dan Cruickshank embarked on a perilous journey to Syria to visit Palmyra, the Unesco listed, ancient desert city; in order to discover what has happened to this historic site during three years of Islamic State control.
The aim was to not only assess the destruction but to reveal the human suffering of those who died protecting the ancient city and its history.
Palmyra is important because it represents all our histories. It was at the beginning of what we in the west take to be our culture, our civilization. This was not just an attack upon the Syrian people and their identity but an attack upon us all.
The Assad regime has stated that the repair of the city can represent a strong, defiant and resurgent Syria, but Dan believes that this is too delicate an issue to be politicised and should be handled with great sensitivity.
However, Palmyra has ‘died’ many times before, it can come back to life again, be reinvented. Rebuilding needs to be skilfully undertaken with love and respect; and perhaps, ultimately, heal the nation.
Dan will take questions and be available to sign books after the talk.
15 September 2018 7:30PM