The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra could reopen as early as next year after almost being destroyed by Isis.
Once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, the historic site was occupied by ISIS up until last year, leading to the destruction of temples, columns and the Arch of Triumph.
Now, Syrian authorities have said they hope visitors will be able to reenter the ancient city as soon as summer 2019.
Since March 2017, when the Syrian government recaptured Palmyra, Russian scientists from the Pushkin Museum have been reconstructing some of the ancient structures, according to the Daily Mail.
“The authorities now have a project to repair all the damage caused to Palmyra’s Old City,” Talal Barazi, The provincial governor of Homs told Sputnik News.
“There are also good offers from the world powers to restore the artefacts and historical value of Palmyra. I suppose that Palmyra will be completely ready for receiving tourists by summer 2019.”
According to Sputnik News, restoration of the historic centre of Syria’s western city of Homs, which was also destroyed by militants, will begin later in 2018.
However, it will probably be some time until travellers begin flocking back to the former cultural hotspot, with DFAT still advising Australians not to travel to Syria.
The Smart Traveller website advises Australians that due to the extremely dangerous security situation, military and other armed conflict is ongoing and air strikes, kidnappings and terrorist attacks are common.