Damage to Syria’s heritage – 02 February 2015



Damage to Syria’s Heritage

02 February 2015

This newsletter provides a summary of the most recent reports on the damage to Syria’s heritage.  It should be stressed that much of this data cannot be verified, but it is hoped that it will assist in the documentation of the damage occurring, and help raise awareness.

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Main Contents

New from Heritage for Peace | Updates on Damage | Updates on Looting | Intangible Heritage | Reports and Updates from the Syrian DGAM | Policy Changes and Updates from Syria | International Activity | News Updates


New from Heritage for Peace
  • None

Updates on Damage
(Damaged monument in Aleppo.      Photo credit: PressTV file photo)

Destruction in Aleppo Region

  • Protect Syrian Archaeology has shared damage to Yalbougha al-Nasri Hammam, video and photo by Ismael Abed Alrahmad here and here.
  •  A report showing the damage to the site of Al-Sh’yebyia/Al-Shyebia Mosque, by Shahba Press Agency is posted here.
  • A tunnel bomb in Aleppo has collapsed the eastern exterior wall of the Umayyad mosque, reports the DGAM on January 28, 2015, here.
  • PressTV reports that ‘foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants’ have destroyed the Sheikh Muhammad al-Nabhanin shrine, a Sufi saint. The library of the seminary, attached the shrine, was also ransacked. See the PressTV report here, and confirmation by the DGAM here.

Cross removed from Tel Hormizd church 

AINA reports ISIS militants forced inhabitants of Tel Hormizd, an Assyrian town in Hassaka, Syria, to remove the cross from their church. See the article with photos, here.

Updates on Looting
Damage reported to Resafa 

The DGAM reports on January 21 2015 that illegal excavations have been carried out at Resafa. The city, the Sergiopolis of Roman sources, so-named because it was the primary shrine in the Roman Empire to St. Sergius, is a well-known example of Roman military architecture, and contains three churches as well as a well-preserved cistern complex. Recent damage includes a hole blasted in the western wall to allow vehicles to enter. Positively, the DGAM reports that the local population stood up to the vandals. See the short report here.

Intangible Heritage
  • None
Reports and Updates from the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
DGAM participates in UNESCO training 

The DGAM is participating in training being held in Lebanon between the 26th and 30th of January. The training, sponsored by UNESCO, is designed to teach the protection of portable heritage and also the protection of museums. See the full report here.

Policy Changes and Updates from Syria
  • None
International Activity
Heritage for Peace invited to British Academy Panel on damage to Syria’s heritage

The Council for British Research on the Levant (CBRL) sponsored a seminar on Syrian Heritage in Crisis at the British Academy on January 16. Speakers included Samer Abdel Ghafour (DGAM), Neil Brodie (Glasgow University), Sam Hardy (UCL), Marc Lebeau (Brussels), Graham Philip (Durham), and Peter Stone (Newcastle).

News Updates

(Not covered in other sections)



  • Ross Burn’s Monuments of Syria blog provides a concise update on damage here. The January 17, 2015 update provides a 17-page PDF file with detailed information on sites damaged along with sources of information.

This mailing list was produced by Dr Emma Cunliffe, in association with Heritage for Peace

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