Italian UNESCO site to host concert for Syria

Italian UNESCO site to host concert for Syria
The concert will take place on a stage in front of the Temple of Neptune, a UNESCO World Heritage site built around 450 BC and still perfectly preserved. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 June 2020

Italian UNESCO site to host concert for Syria

Italian UNESCO site to host concert for Syria
  • The concert is dedicated to the suffering endured over the last nine years by the Syrian population
  • The “Roads of Friendship” event is directed by star opera and classical music conductor Riccardo Muti

ROME: A concert dedicated to the plight of the Syrian people will be held on July 5 in the town of Paestum in southern Italy.
The “Roads of Friendship” event is directed by star opera and classical music conductor Riccardo Muti.
Performers, who will play in front of preserved Greek temples overlooking the sea, include the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra, formed by Syrian musicians and academics who live in EU countries.
Previous editions of the concert have been held in Sarajevo, Beirut, Jerusalem, Yerevan, New York and Damascus.
“This year it’s dedicated to Syria, and in particular the ancient city of Palmyra, the archaeological site devastated by Daesh and connected to Paestum thanks to a twinning initiative,” Muti told Arab News.
“The concert is dedicated to the suffering endured over the last nine years by the Syrian population. In this terrible situation, the international community must do something. We hope to help raise awareness through our music.”
The concert will take place on a stage in front of the Temple of Neptune, a UNESCO World Heritage site built around 450 BC and still perfectly preserved. All proceeds will go to charity.
Muti is one of the most successful directors in the world. He is currently musical director at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, after having spent 19 years as musical director at the Teatro La Scala in Milan.
He will conduct the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra with the musicians of the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra.
The event is dedicated to the plight of the Syrian people embodied by two symbolic figures: Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf, a women’s rights activist who was killed in October 2019, and Khalid Al-Asaad, an archaeologist and retired head of antiquities in Palmyra.
Al-Asaad was left alone to defend some of Syria’s greatest archaeological treasures from Daesh jihadists, who beheaded him in 2015.
Performers at the event include Aynur Dogan and Zehra Dogan, two Kurdish artists who have worked to promote women’s rights.
Both Palmyra and Paestum are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Palmyra was a desert hub along the caravan route that in the first and second centuries served as a crossroads for Persian, Greek and Roman cultures.
Paestum, also known by its original Greek name Poseidonia, was conquered first by the Lucanians then by the Romans.
It was cited by poets Virgil and Ovid, among others, for its roses that blossomed both in spring and autumn.