Bartosz Markowski (L), from the University of Warsaw's archeology institute, and Robert Zukowski (C), from the Polish Academy of Sciences, inspect a statue at Palmyra museum on April 9, 2016. / AFP / LOUAI BESHARA
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When two Polish heritage experts first restored the famed lion statue in Syria's Palmyra in 2005, they never imagined they would see it smashed to pieces only a decade later.Markowski spoke to AFP at the entrance of Palmyra's museum, where the striking 15-ton Lion of Al-Lat lay in large, jagged pieces.Markowski, from the University of Warsaw's archaeology institute, was the first foreign archeologist to enter Palmyra after the regime victory.He arrived in Palmyra with his colleague Robert Zukowski, from the Polish Academy of Sciences, in mid-April for a one-week mission to evaluate the damage.The 3-meter-tall Lion of Al-Lat dated back to the first century B.C.
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