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Gergiev conducts in Palmyra


MAB
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Valery Gergiev is conducting a concert in Palmyra, Syria right now that RT are hoping to shortly show live.

What? In Palmyra? Isn`t that the place that Islamic State keep blowing to pieces? I hardly would have thought that was the safest place to be.

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The event was called 'Pray for Palmyra'  Gergiev conducted the Mariinsky Orchestra in pieces by Bach, Shchedrin and Prokofiev and the concert was held in the Roman amphitheatre where ISIL carried out their executions.  The audience was made up of both Russian and Syrian soldiery, civilians including children in national costume UNESCO officials and Muslim clerics sitting with orthodox priests. 

 

The concert was in part dedicated to Khaled al-Asaad, the 81 year old head of antiquities who was tortured before being beheaded after he refused to reveal the location of valuable artefacts.

 

The setting was so beautiful, the light in that part of the world is beyond description and the ancient stonework still looks pretty awesome.  I hope Mr al-Asaad was looking down in pleasure..

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I was so pleased when I saw on the news that Palmyra had been less damaged than those murdering thugs had said.  It is a wonderful, magical place.

 

Good on Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.  I would have tried to get there if I had known about it!

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Yes, Palmyra is a wonderful, magical place. I visited it over 20 years ago. It's good to hear that there has been less destruction than was previously feared. There are many other important cultural and historical sites in Syria, including several early Christian sites. I don't know how they have fared. I don't imagine that the citadel and the great souk in Aleppo will survive.

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I saw an article last year about the "secondary tragedy of Syria" i.e. the loss of all the history and sites.  There were pictures from Aleppo - the souk was already little more than a pile of rubble.  I also worry about how much damage there has been to Krak because there has been heavy fighting in that area too.

 

It is just over 30 years since I was lucky enough to have a holiday in Syria.  It was a wonderful country and we met such lovely people.  I have always wanted to go back but I suspect I will never get back now.

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It's all very heartbreaking Janet.

That poor lovely old man who was killed because he would not reveal what they wanted him to is a genuine hero

 

I have no idea whether he has any relations in that area or not but perhaps some consolation for them ......and the possibility of some more permanent memorial to him in the future.

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I saw his son being interviewed on TV, he is very much looking forward to the site going back to how it was as his father would have wished.

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I never got to Syria although I always wanted to, just to see the ancient sites such as Palmyra. I don't suppose I will ever go now either, and I certainly don't want to see piles of rubble where beauty used to be. How ironic that these ancient sites have withstood all kinds of things for thousands of years, but against this kind of thuggery and savagery they didn't stand a chance. Aside from the crimes against humanity that are occurring, this is a crime against everything that is beautiful about the human race, its achievements and resilience. Shame on all of them.

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