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ISIS Destroys Temple of Bel in Palmyra

The main temple in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, has been reduced to rubble by Islamic State militants, according to the BBC.

Yesterday, Syria’s antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim had suggested that the temple was still standing, as Artforum previously reported here. But now analysts reviewing satellite images from the location say the main structure of the Temple of Bel has been destroyed, as well as a line of columns alongside it. ISIS captured the Unesco World Heritage site from government forces in May.

Calling the destruction a “catastrophe,” Abdulkarim said in an interview: “I feel very sad and I am very pessimistic . . . for the future of Palmyra.”

“I am sure we will have more bad images [in the future] because these people... are ignorant, they are very criminal,” he added. “They don't respect any image, any identity of the people.”