A group of French archaeologists and restorers arrived in Syria to assess the damage caused to the castle Krak des Chevaliers during the civil war. The fortress is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Foreign specialists were invited by the Director General of the Office of Antiquities and Museums, Professor Mamun Abdulkarim. The scientist, who is considered a friend of President Hafiz Asad, was responsible for evacuating artifacts that could be taken out.
It is assumed that French experts will hold for their Syrian colleagues a one-year course on the restoration of the impregnable fortress. “We have a lot of work,” says former director of the National Center for Scientific Research of France, Jacques Seigne. He recalled that the restoration will require not only knowledge, but also funding. “However, the human factor cannot be discounted. We need to know, not only how to restore, but why we do it, ”he says.
The Krak des Chevaliers, built nine centuries ago, guards a strategic road connecting Tartus and Homs. The mighty fortress in the middle of the XII century was transferred to the Hospitallers, because only knightly orders were capable of maintaining it.
The garrison of the castle was about 2,000 soldiers.
On the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic there are six World Cultural Heritage sites. All of them suffered significant damage during the civil war. The old market of Aleppo and part of ancient Palmyra are lost forever.