Missing monuments: Before & After pics of Palmyra show what ISIS has destroyed

What remains of the historic Temple of Bel, dating back to 32AD. © Joseph Eid
Joseph Eid, a photographer for AFP news agency, traveled to the Syrian city of Palmyra, recently recaptured from Islamic State, carrying with him photos that he took two years ago. When he tried to recreate the images, the results displayed how much damage the Islamists have wrought.

A picture of the Arc du Triomphe (Triumph's Arch) contrasted with what remains of the historic monument after it was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in October 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. © Joseph Eid

The Arc du Triomphe was completed in the 3rd century, to celebrate the Roman victory over Parthia, a kingdom in modern-day Iran, which staunchly opposed the Roman onslaught for nearly three centuries.

Another view showing the full extent of the damage at Arc du Triomphe (Triumph's Arch), which was destroyed by Isis in October 2015. © Joseph Eid

The arch was destroyed by Islamic State in October last year, though plans have been announced to rebuild it with its original stones, using 3D models of the monument.

A picture showing the Temple of Bel before it was destroyed by Isis in September 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The structure dated back to 32AD.  © Joseph Eid

Opened at the turn of the last millennium, the Temple of Bel was dedicated to the Mesopotamian deity, and was considered one of the most intact monuments at the entire UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra.

Security officials stand around the ruins of the Temple of Bel. © Joseph Eid

As Palmyra changed hands, it served as a Byzantine church, and later a mosque, before being preserved as a historical monument, prior to being blown up by Islamic State, which took control of the city in May last year.

The Temple of Baal Shamin seen through two Corinthian columns at Palmyra, Syria. © Joseph Eid

Built in a Greco-Roman style, the Temple of Baalshamin served a sky deity, which existed alongside Bel. It was also well preserved, and it is thought that Islamic State sought to destroy the best-known landmarks of the city one by one, capturing international headlines with each blast.

A picture taken in the Palymra museum showing defaced sculptures. © Joseph Eid

While the destruction of the temples may have been largely symbolic, the empty mounts for historical sculptures are testament to Islamic State's looting.

'Pearl of desert' Palmyra after ISIS flees

RT drone buzzes ancient Palmyra to see if the 'Pearl of the desert' suffered any irreparable damage at the hands of the jihadists. With Russian help, UNESCO has already started rebuilding the recaptured historical site.

Posted by RT Play on Friday, April 1, 2016