Heritage for PeaceHERITAGE FOR PEACE: We believe that cultural heritage is a common ground for dialogue and a tool to build peace. Thus, we support heritage workers in the protection of cultural heritage for future generations.
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. Heritage for Peace have released a statement concerning their stance on data recording, available here.
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Photo: The cella and northern wall of Ain Dara temple. Photo copyright: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, January 28 2018
ASOR published further information about the damage to Tell Ain Dara in Afrin. Read more on the ASOR website here.
Photos by The Authority of Tourism and Protection of Antiquities shows the damage to Ain Dara Temple in Afrin.
ATPA report additional damage to historic buildings in the area here.
ASOR publishes December 2017 report
The ASOR’s Cultural Heritage Initiatives December 2017 Monthly Report is now available here.
Newly released photographs show the condition of the Raqqa Museum and its collection in Raqqa, Raqqa Governorate. ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 17-0098 UPDATE
DigitalGlobe satellite imagery reveals damage to exposed architecture at Mari, Tell Hariri, Deir ez-Zor Governorate, Syria. ASOR CHI Incident Report SHI 17-0224
Newly released photographs show damage to the British Cemetery in Mosul, Ninawa Governorate. ASOR CHI Incident Report IHI 17-0083
Newly released photographs show the condition of Hatra, Ninawa Governorate, Iraq. ASOR CHI Incident Report IHI 17-0085
Newly released photographs show the stabilization of Qasr al-Birka in Benghazi, Cyrenaica, Libya. ASOR CHI Incident Report LHI 17-0038 UPDATE
Illegal excavation is occurring at the Western Necropolis in Cyrene, Shahat, Cyrenaica, Libya. ASOR CHI Incident Report LHI 17-004.
Updates on Looting
Two arrested for smuggling Syrian artifacts
Two suspects have been arrested for smuggling relics and artifacts from Syria into Lebanon. Read more on the Al Bawaba website here.
Four die in looting-related collapse
Four people were killed while digging for monuments in one of the homes of the town of Armor, which led to the collapse of the house over their heads, according to Step News Agency.
Reports and Updates from the Syrian People
War reveals undiscovered ancient relics in Aleppo
A new video by New China TV show the restoration work in Aleppo, also it shows the latest discoveries in Bab Al Nasr. Xinhuan Net also wrote about how damage to buildings in Aleppo has inadvertently revealed their historic original structures and architecture for the first time in hundreds of years.
Damascus University exhibition on Aleppo
Damascus University’s exhibition “For Aleppo” includes three hundred projects dealing with the ancient buildings and the historical sites of the Old City of Aleppo. The exhibition aims to develop a clear vision for the future of the Old City of Aleppo based on the scientific principles of conservation and the structural restoration of historical buildings. Read more on the Syria Times website here.
The discovery of a new mosaic in Manbaj
A new video published by ASO shows 5 Mosaics which are dated to 62 BC; they were discovered at the northwestern of the industrial area of Manbaj. They depict fishing and some social customs in that period.
Policy Changes and Updates from Syria
Sochi meeting concludes with agreement on principles
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi concluded with consensus on a series of principles concerning national identity and heritage preservation, among other topics. Read the full article on the Xinhua Net website here.
Restoration work at Aleppo’s Great Mosque progresses
This drone footage video shows the Chechnyya-funded restoration work at Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo.
Aleppo Archaeology posted another video of the restoration work on their Facebook page, with Dr. Sakhr Alabi explaining the stages of restoration.
Digital Library of the Middle East launches prototype
The Digital Library of the Middle East publicly released its new prototype digital platform here.
“In response to the tragic displacement of people and losses of life in conflict zones, and to ongoing threats to the cultural heritage of the Middle East through destruction, looting, and illegal trade, the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) proposes to federate Middle Eastern collections from around the world, creating a publicly accessible, seamlessly interoperable digital library of cultural material.
Early contributions to the project are helping to test our technical platform and workflows. We look forward to federating the collections of regional partners in our next phase of work. Learn more.”
Syrian Heritage Archive Website update
The Syrian Heritage Archive project at the museum of Islamic Art has a new website available here.
Syrian crafts find new outlets
Syrians displayed crafts that bring together traditional skills, motifs and stories to create unique culturally blended products at Frankfurt’s Ambiente Trade Show. Read more on the Ahram website here.
In Ellicott City, Maryland, America, A Syrian refugee has opened a business called Syriana Café and Gallery, which features the cups and sells other Syrian heritage handicrafts — exotic mosaic works, mother of pearl inlays, Damask textiles and brocade silk. The gallery has two missions — preserving Syrian heritage and supporting artisans by establishing a market for their products.(Read more on VOA here)
Connecticut museum highlights Syrian immigrants
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI) the Fairfield Museum & History Center’s new exhibit highlights the experiences of people who have built new lives in the area, including immigrants from Syria. Read about the exhibit on the Fairfield Sun website here.
(Not covered in other sections)
The National website explored how digital scanners and 3D reconstructions may help save Syria’s destroyed and damaged archaeological heritage.
The Antiquities Coalition interviewed Professor Amr Al Azm about the The Day After Project, which recognizes the importance of protecting Syria’s cultural heritage sites and collections in order to enhance Syrian national identity and stabilization.