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During the Bosnian War of the ’90s, Banja Luka, Bosnia’s second-largest city, saw heavy fighting.One of the most remarkable structures in the city was the Ferhat Pasha Mosque, an exceptional example of 16th-century Islamic and Ottoman architecture.Following the war, former Serb leader Radoslav Brdjanin was convicted for his part in the demolition of the complex, along with larger war crimes. In more recent years, extensive reconstruction work has been carried out on the surviving foundations.Both the Ferhat Pasha Mosque and its independent minaret are now well into the stages of restoration.Not only has Apamea been devastated by bombing, there have also been those who have taken advantage of the chaos by ransacking the ancient city, looting its treasures.The site now lies ravaged, its columns broken and its mosaics smashed.
The palace itself served as a base of operations for Qing Dynasty emperors to live and handle government affairs, while its grounds were filled with examples of beautiful architecture, which included magnificent temples, pavilions, and bridges adorned with ornate Chinese designs.
More than a millennium later, it rose again, now as a base during the Crusades.
Its magnificent paved streets, beautiful mosaics, and bright white columns carved with intricate designs were a sight to behold.
The destruction of these documents is not just a great historical loss, but a huge loss to Iraq’s cultural heritage.
And although an effort to compile and restore the remaining documents is currently ongoing, those lost during the fire remain irreplaceable.