Palmyra, known as the Venice of the Sands, suffered at the hands of Daesh in 2015. While the damage is now not thought to be as extensive as first feared, after some 10 months of destruction, it certainly doesn’t resemble the pictures taken by MK-based photographer David Tunnicliffe when he visited the region in 1993.
His stunning pictures capture the second millennium BC UNESCO World Heritage site in all its glory, and his photographs are currently being exhibited at MK Library for all to see.
David’s pictures “...evoke a Palmyra when it was the pride of the Syrian antiquities services, a magnificent site remote enough not to be overrun by tourists,” says Australian ambassador Ian Biggs.
“Now Palmyra resonates in a different way in the global imagination..its great sandstone theatre features in snuff videos; its curators have been murdered; its monuments have been blown up...the town is now with Raqqa, Mosul and Fallujah a byword for sociopathic horror,” Ian says.
And yet there is still hope: “David’s artistic documentation of what has been lost may yet play an important part in its recovery,” he says.
The area has now been recaptured by Syrian government forces, and thoughts will turn to restoration, but while that is something for antiquities experts, you can enjoy David’s visions of a Palmyra in more peaceful times, through to May 9.
The library opens between 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.
Admission is free.