Dr Alan Cadwallader explains how the Australian War Memorial came to own a precious artefact from the recently destroyed ancient city of Palmyra.
The recent destruction of ancient artefacts at Palmyra in Syria has grabbed horrified responses the world over. Little known to most people is that the Australian War Memorial holds a small piece of Palmyra that has suddenly become so much more precious because of the loss of so much of the human heritage at the hands of ISIS.
This treasure is the bust of a woman of Palmyra from the mid-second century. It made its way to Australia as part of a gift exchange between an Australian military officer and a Muslim leader from the area. It is an invaluable testimony to a time of respect between peoples of different races and faiths, as well as a prized testimony to the artistry and skill of past peoples in an area now ravaged by war.
Page last updated: 2017-06-28
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