Event Logo - Maurizio Abbati ©

The Project 

Pamyra forever, a project by Prof. Ilvana Mirto who, thanks to her charges by the Italian Foreign Office and Ministry of Education, lived more than six years a unique and unrepeatable experience in a country, Syria, not affected by the civil war yet. A multi-ethnic country, a complex society,  united by strong and deep historical-cultural roots witnessed by an artistic and archaeological heritage, well preserved, carrying the symbols of the greatest civilizations of the Ancient History: among them the Greek, the Roman and Ottoman Empire.

Event Management

“The first part of the Lecture offers the audience the opportunity “to travel” inside Syria countryside. An exclusive journey far away from the touristic ones in order “to live” the culture, the uses, the customs of the Syrian society, able to give a great welcome to its visitors.

"The slides, voiced-over by Prof. llvana Mirto, show unedited and suggestive photos of Palmyra. Unfortunately nowadays most of these places are occupied by extremist groups who sow terror and destruction and seriously damaged historical buildings and archaeological sites recognized by UNESCO." [cit.: Maurizio Abbati].

"The second part of the Lecture sees the participation of an exceptional guest, the archaeologist Isber Sabreen of Syrian nationality (Prof. Mirto’s former student, edit), who offers, for the first time in Italy,  a direct witness of what is happening in Palmyra (old Tadmor), an historical town, still existing  at the Assyrian time and which was annexed to the Roman Province during the ruling of Tiberius Emperor, thus giving birth to a period of splendour thanks to commerce and cultural exchanges." [cit.: Maurizio Abbati]

An exceptional olfactory journey during the Lecture

"A harmonious scent of Damask Rose (an ancient variety of more than four hundreds aromatic shades, edit)  accompanied the whole 'Palmyrene travel' with an olfactory journey thanks   to the friendly participation of Maison DAPHNÉ ® from Sanremo who synthetized the precious essence creating a new perfume which was sprayed around, for this special occasion, among  the audience by two hostesses." [cit.: Maurizio Abbati] 

Versione Italiana

The defenders of the Syrian Heritage: the “Monuments Men” of the Twenty-first Century

Palmyra site (Syria) and the archaeologist Isber Sabrine - Maurizio Abbati ©

The defenders of the Syrian Heritage: the “Monuments Men” of the Twenty-first Century

Isber Sabrine, a Syrian archaeologist transferred to Spain and Germany to complete a Doctorate, for years  has been involved in a project full of challenges and risks but  which, by now, is giving big results. In 2013, while attending Barcelona University, he  joined an international team of experts: thus Heritage for Peace was born! An NGO,  which he is a cofounder of, meant to avoid that the conflict taking place in his country could destroy five thousand years of History (in Syria there are about 10,000 sites of archaeological interest, edit). This Organization was soon operating and the archaeologist himself, together with other colleagues and University researchers and professors, strive to identify, in the whole Syria, the artefacts “to be conquered” before they are destroyed or illegally sold by the armed guerrilla fighters. A mission with a high degree of risk carried on by a voluntary “Art army” who is specifically trained in order to recuperate and catalogue the works of art. "Heritage for Peace give advice about how to protect what is left of the historical-archaeological heritage. Even the rubble of a historic building are worth and for this reason they must be handled adequately. A  destroyed minaret could be covered by dust and sand soon and so it would be lost forever”. Isber Sabrine has stated in a recent interview by the Spanish press.

Versione Italiana

Download the trailer "Palmyra Forever" (Time: 15 minutes)

A tribute from the Abbatis to Syria and the Syrian people and Palmyra  (13th February, 2016)  Feat. Isber Sabrine.

>> At the beginning of the trailer another  homage to Ligurian land. This time is a tribute by the Syrian university Students who, in 2010,  sang, within the framework of the 10th Week of the Italian Language in the World, in front of Academic Authorities and Italian Embassy, a folk song “Ma se ghe pensu” (But if I think about,  edit) dated 1923 to be considered as an Anthem of All the Migrants of yesterday and today. The old father in South America tells his son about his nostalgia of the sea and his beloved Genoa and he wants to come back to end his last days there: “a posà e osse duve u franze u ma!  (to rest my bones where the waves break onto the rocks, edit).

>>This trailer is an abstract from the Lecture by prof. Ilvana Mirto held on the 13th February, 2016 to remind Syria and its cultural and archaeological heritage.

Warning: for technical reasons, the archaeologist Isber Sabrine’s voice has been doubled.

Would anybody like to repeat this unique experience of our “virtual journey” into the most authentic Syria? Those who might be interested in hosting such a kind of event in their cultural environment, with the participation of the archaeologist Isber Sabrine, please contact well in advance,  the following addresses:

Maurizio Abbati: mabbati77@gmail.com 

Ilvana Mirto: (updating in progress)

Isber Sabrine: (updating in progress)

Thanks for the support to the  service “Lions Club Bordighera Ottoluoghi” and the Municipality of Bordighera. 

Versione Italiana

"The interview" by Maurizio Abbati

The archaeologist Isber Sabreen

"The interview" by Maurizio Abbati

Isber Sabrine: a “peaceful warrior” of our time who uses the strength of Culture to protect the archaeological site of Palmyra (Syria).

by Maurizio Abbati 

On Saturday, the 13th February 2016, at the Anglican Church in Bordighera (Italian Flower’s Riviera, close to the Cote d’Azur), we met Isber Sabrine, Syrian archaeologist, at his first official visit to Italy.

Isber Sabrine, co-founder of the  NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Heritage for Peace, settled up in March 2013 (in Gerona, Catalonia, edit)  with a view to recover  and preserve the huge Syrian historical and cultural heritage, including a unique archaeological spot, recognized by UNESCO, which, lately, has often hit the news headlines. We are talking about Palmyra, a real architectural jewel embedded in an oasis of palm trees (where the name comes from, edit) in the middle of the Arabic rocky desert. This unique archaeological site integrates Syrian Anatolian elements with Hellenistic and Roman style.

The thirty-year-old archaeologist describes passionately and spontaneously what pushed him forward with creating a network of experienced people aimed at rescuing pieces of art in order to limit the destructive force of a stateless enemy, hidden behind a dark flag which destroys the civilisation.

These volunteers, the Twenty-First Century “Monuments Men” (as defined by the international press, edit), are more than 200 spreading all around Europe, Middle East and the rest of the World. It is a real “Art army” made of academic professors, experts of archaeology and researchers, other than volunteers.

“The cultural heritage is a source of human dialogue among the peoples and a force for peace”  - Isber was saying while commenting on some shocking images of Palmyra. The Temple of Baal, crumbled into shapeless ruins, is opposed to the personal photographic report on the same  site - entitled “Palmyra forever” – shown and commented  by Professor Mirto who had just praised its architectural refinement. A great example of artistic cultural integration represented by Corinthian and Doric capitals together with traditional Arabic muqarnas. The pictures show, for example, what is left of the Triumphal Arch, emblem of cultural and commercial prosperity of the past. It is just a heap of rubble, outcome of severe explosions! The audience has stared at them speechless! The eyes of the Syrians, skilfully immortalized in a puzzle-like shooting  (Project “The gaze follows the memory” by Studio Azzurro, 2010, Milan, edit) express pain, fear, hope, more than a thousand words. Looking forward to a future “renaissance” scented by Damask Rose whose perfume, created just for the occasion by the fashion atelier DAPHNÉ ® from Sanremo, was spreading out over the audience and the naves of the once church.

“It is everyone’s duty to support independent Organisations, such as Heritage for Peace,  which commit themselves, at their own risks, to preserve the cultural identity of Syrian people as well as of all mankind” – Isber Sabrine concludes.

And which weapon is more effective than our intelligence? …than our mind? “The aim of art is to represent not only the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”, Aristotle said some centuries ago.


Versione Italiana

Thanks for your visit

Maurizio Abbati