Accusation claims Syrian and Russian troops are looting Palmyra!
INDICTMENT NOT PROVED
"Syrian Troops Looting Ancient City Of Palmyra, Says Archaeologist." So shouted the highly respected UK Guardian's headline of June 1, 2016 on the eve of the opening day of this month's two-day Berlin Convergence attended by more than 170 scientists, archaeologists, architects and planners. The gathering of experts was convened to discuss how best to preserve Syria's, and our heritage, despite the five-year-old war that has killed more than 280,000 people and has also resulted in serious damage to our globally shared Cultural Heritage.
Within minutes the UK Daily Mail and AFP followed suit and ran a similar hyped and dramatic story without questioning the accuracy of the presented claims. Within hours the accusations ricocheted widely around the Internet saturating this little planet or ours.
What gave the story initial credibility was that it came from the lips of the highly respected German archeologist, Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and former President of the German Archaeological Institute.
Some excerpts from Dr. Parzinger's media briefings in Berlin:
"Syrian regime and Russian troops are looting the ancient city of Palmyra just like the Islamic State jihadis who controlled it until March, 2016 ...Their soldiers are conducting illegal excavations and are looting the UNESCO World Heritage site"
Writing in the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung, while conceding that the retaking of Palmyra was "an important victory for our cultural heritage" (Dr. Parzinger's words), he continued: "Despite the liberation, we shouldn't act like everything is alright now. And this victory has not made Bashar al-Assad and his backers the saviors of cultural heritage".
The accuser continued: