Following the liberation of Palmyra, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, discussed with HE Mr Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, during a telephone conversation on 27 March 2016, the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of Palmyra.
"I stand ready to send a UNESCO emergency assessment experts' mission to map the damages at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra", declared Irina Bokova.
President Putin informed the Director-General of his readiness to provide immediate support and expertise of his country to a UNESCO expert mission to Palmyra as soon as the security situation would allow.
He assured the Director-General of the wide-ranging experience of Russian experts from The Heritage Museum in St. Petersburg, including from work under UNESCO's leadership on the preservation and reconstruction of the cultural heritage of Syria.
The Director-General also held a telephone conversation with Mr. Maamun Abdulkarim, the Director of the Department of Syrian Antiquities, concerning the latest updates on the situation of the site following its recent liberation.
She invited Mr. Abdulkarim to come to UNESCO in the next days in order to prepare for the sending of the UNESCO expert mission and she reiterated her full support for the restoration of Palmyra underscoring "the critical role of cultural heritage for resilience, national unity, and peace".
Mr. Abdulkarim thanked the Director-General, confirming the need to ensure restoration works at the site under UNESCO auspices, as soon as the security requirements will be ensured on the ground.
Before concluding, Irina Bokova informed Mr. Abdulkarim that UNESCO will be holding a conference of experts on the reconstruction of the cultural heritage of Syria by the end of April.