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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“A video still from the video published by al-Dahar al-Shamiya (now removed) shows excavators in use at the site of Tekla, with the facade of the 5th-century church circled in red (Al-Dahar al-Shamiya; October 24, 2017)”. Shared by ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives.
Khan al-Wazir, a centuries-old caravanserai in the old city of Aleppo, is reviving with traditional music, folklore, and crafts. Read more in the Xinhua article here.
DGAM review protection and restoration plans
The Director General of the DGAM has been touring Syria to meet with the various regional departments to review the plans for restoration and protection. Details of the tour, and photos, are available on the DGAM website.
A mosaicist restores endangered mosaics
Young mosaic artist Muhannad al-Tawil is restoring mosaics in museums in Sweida.
Read more on the Syria Times website here.
Property Law 10
Syrbanism shared a video on Facebook explaining the new Property Law No.10 in Syria and its consequences on the reconstruction of Syrian cities.
Training workshops continue in Jazira province
The Association for Tourism and the Protection of Antiquities is continuing to run training workshops with more details available on their website. The awareness training workshop runs for a whole week for a group of students from the University of Roj-Ava and the University of Qorutba and from various European countries, and consists of lectures about archaeological sites in the areas of the Khabour basin, in addition to field tours of some archaeological sites. The project also aims to introduce the importance of the history of these sites and how to protect it and how to involve young people in it.
Policy Changes and Updates from Syria
Syria ratifies UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects
Syria has joined forty-two other state parties as a signatory to the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention which aims to fight the illicit trade in cultural objects. See more information on the DGAM website here, and on ARCA blog here.
Russian archaeologists have submitted proposals on restoring the Temple of Baal Shamin, and are hoping to continue their proposed excavations at the site. See more here.
Aleppo Project survey about historic shopping areas
The Aleppo Project is conducting a survey on the historic shopping areas of Aleppo. It asks anyone from Aleppo to complete the the survey on the Aleppo Project website (English and Arabic available) here.
Syrians receiving restoration training in Japan
Syrian officials in charge of cultural heritage received training in antiquities preservation and restoration at the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara in Nara Prefecture and other locations.
Read more on the Mainichi website here.
Researchers reconstruct lost clay tablets
Dutch archaeologists at the National Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University have reconstructed ancient clay tablets lost from Syrian museum depots. Read more here.
Museum features Syrian artists and traditional cultural elements
The Langley Centennial Museum is opening a special exhibit on contemporary Syrian art, showcasing Syrian history and culture.
Read more in the Langley Times here.
US food festival features Syrian cuisine
The Refugee Food Festival in New York will feature traditional Syrian cuisine by chef Diaa Alhanoun, according to foodandwine.com.
(Not covered in other sections)
The Conversation here warned about the drawbacks and limitations of using satellite imagery to evaluate damage at heritage sites, including those in Iraq and Syria.
ABC News here reported on the trafficking of Syrian antiquities into Western art markets.
Borgen Magazine here reported on how Syrians are fighting to retain their cultural art and music practices.
The Kyiv Post here wrote about the experiences of Syrians living in Ukraine.
Heritage Daily wrote about the history of illegal trade in antiquities, using Syria as one modern example.