Russian Conductor Leads Palmyra Concert in Syria

     (AP) – Renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev on Thursday afternoon led the Mariinsky orchestra from St. Petersburg in a concert at the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
     The concert, dubbed “With a Prayer for Palmyra,” was held in the amphitheatre in Palmyra and the program included Bach’s Chaconne for Solo Violin, a cello piece by Rodion Shchedrin and Sergei Prokofiev’s First Symphony.
     The audience included Russian servicemen, including those who have been doing demining in Palmyra after Islamic State militants were routed from the city and it was retaken by Syrian government troops with the help of Russian airstrikes.
     The IS militants badly damaged the world famous archaeological site of Palmyra. In opening remarks, Gergiev said that with the concert, “we protest against the barbarians who destroyed monuments of world culture.”
     There was also a video linkup in which Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the audience.
     Putin said he regards the concert “as a sign of gratitude, remembrance and hope – of gratitude to all those who fight terrorism without sparing one’s own life; of remembrance for all victims of terror, regardless of the place and time of crimes against humanity; and of course hope not just for the revival of Palmyra as a cultural asset of all humanity but for the deliverance of modern civilization from this terrible ill, from international terrorism.”
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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