[The Syrian desert city known as the Venice of the Sands has suffered another act of vandalism by Islamic State (Isis), with the destruction of the triumphal arch. We look at what has been blown up in recent months by the Islamist militants described as ‘barbarians’ by Syria’s head of antiquities.
One of the most recognisable landmarks of the ruins, the triple arch stood at the head of a grand colonnade that led to the great temple of Bel – until it was destroyed by Isis at the weekend.
It was built as a tribute to the visiting Roman emperor, Septimius Severus, after the Roman victory over the Parthian kingdom in Persia. Richly decorated, it reflected the growing power of Palmyra, which had emerged as one of the wealthiest colonies in the Roman hegemony through its position on a key caravan route.]