A 2,000-year-old Roman arch of triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has been blown up by Isis militants, the country’s antiquities chief has said.
Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters that local sources had confirmed that the arch had been virtually destroyed.
Khaled Al Homsi, an archaeologist and human rights activist from Palmyra, tweeted a photograph of the monument before it was blown up, indicating that the main central arch and two supporting ones on either side were now gone.
“#SavePalmyra #Isis blows up the #Triumphal Arch at entrance to colonnade today,” he wrote.
The historian and writer Tom Holland retweeted Mr Al Homsi’s message, saying: “Oh no … Palmyra.”
Isis militants, who consider some of the historic ruins to be sacrilegious, has blown up temples and destroyed other structures at the Unesco World Heritage site since taking the area from Syrian government forces in May.
In August, three 2,000-year-old Syrian tower tombs, built between 44 and 103 AD, were destroyed. The Temple of Bel, an iconic religious building that had survived for 2,000 years, has also been blown up.
Khaled al-Asaad, the archaeological director of a museum detailing Palmyra’s antiquities, was beheaded and his body tied to a pole after he refused to co-operate with Isis.Reuse content