Schubert on FM4 - Palmyra

IR faculty Dr. Samuel R. Schubert spoke on Austrian national radio FM4's "Reality Check" about Palmyra, an irreplaceable treasure of human history.

Dr. Schubert alluded to the crucial strategic value of the region surrounding Palmyra. First, controlling the city cuts off the main road to North-Eastern Syria. Second, the airport of the city has been conquered and third, there are accessible gas fields.

As for the antique city, Dr. Schubert recalled the ideological background of the IS which aims at the annihilation of all pre-Islamic cultural achievements, modeling a "7th century" style "Islamic Kaliphate". Paradoxically, undesired antiquities are also a source of revenue for the IS: selling artifacts contributes financing the terrorists' activities while the purchase might often be the only way to save the ancient treasures. According to Dr. Schubert, the tragedy of loosing other singular manifestations of human history makes "physical memories be turned into legend". 

No international action to save the antique site should be expected.  

Listen to the full interview here.