Russian maestro Gergiev’s orchestra performs in war-ravaged Palmyra

Damascus, May 5 (IANS) Renowned conductor Valery Gergiev led a concert in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra to support the restoration of the Unesco World Heritage site and honour victims of the war.

The world-famous conductor offered his support to the embattled city that was devastated by Islamic State terrorists who occupied the site for some 10 months before it was liberated by Syrian troops with Russian air support, the Russian RT Tv reported.

Gergiev conducted a symphonic orchestra performance titled “Pray for Palmyra. Music revives ancient remains” and commemorated those who lost their lives liberating the city from IS.

Over the past year, the ancient Unesco World Heritage site saw the destruction of such magnificent monuments as the Arch of Triumph, the Temple of Baalshamin, and the Temple of Bel. Besides reducing the iconic sites to rubble, terrorists looted museums and mutilated exhibits.

A team of international experts was currently working to preserve what is left after IS’s 10-month reign in the city and renovate artifacts severely damaged by the militants.

This was not the first time Gergiev staged a performance in a war-torn region as a symbolic humanitarian gesture. Gergiev, an ethnic Ossetian, was born in Moscow, but spent his entire childhood and youth in North Ossetia.

Following an armed conflict in South Ossetia, which was then part of Georgia, Gergiev conducted the Mariinsky Theater’s orchestra in the breakaway province’s capital of Tskhinval to pay tribute to the victims of Georgia’s August 2008 invasion.

–IANS

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