When ISIS invaded Palmyra in 2015, it was intent on obliterating the city’s cultural and historic identity by destroying its historic landmarks and stealing them to be smuggled and sold.
Artist Ali Saleh Taha who is from Palmyra and is well-versed in the city’s history, worked many years with his father restoring the city landmarks in order to preserve the city’s aesthetics and enable future generations to recognize all that is precious about the city.
The artist is designing a model representing the city’s historic landmarks including Monumental Arch, Temple of Bel, The Roman Theatre and The Great Colonnade. The Artist has years of experience in restoration, which allowed him to learn the finest details of the historic landmarks and represent them in a previously constructed model that took him 11 years to complete.
The previous model was destroyed in the sale that took people’s lives and demolished the city. The artist lost four of his children in the shelling, which forced him to leave the city he loved.
Artist Ali is attempting to reconstruct the model that highlights the city’s historic landmarks but financial struggles prevent him from obtaining the necessary materials and tools that he concocts himself sometimes in order to carry on with the project.
His health does not permit him to work too many hours, but he has worked day and night in order to accomplish his dream of finishing this model that lets him feast his eyes on the beauty of Palmyra even if it is only a miniature version of the real thing.