Damage to Syria’s heritage – 15 January 2018



Damage to Syria’s Heritage

15 January 2018

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, availbale here.

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Main Contents

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


New from Heritage for Peace

  • None

Updates on Damage

Update on damage to Idlib’s Museum

Amr al-Azm, ASOR CHI Co-Investigator and Director of The Day After – Heritage Protection Initiative (TDA-HPI), has shared initial photographs of extensive damage to the Al Ma’ara (Marrat al Nu’man) Museum in Idlib Governorate.

See photos of the most recent damage on Facebook here, and read the preliminary report on The Day After website.
Learn about previous damage to the Al Ma’ara Museum and ASOR CHI mitigation efforts on the ASOR website here.
For more photos of the damage go here.

Watch a video shared by the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology of the effects of the bombing of the museum on January 2nd on YouTube.

Updates on Looting

Confiscated Syrian Archaeological looted objects in Turkey

A video by the AksAlser newspaper shows the confiscated looted objects from Syria in the city of Adana, here.

INTERPOL’s Most Wanted stolen works of art lists

Every June and December, INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization publishes a poster which highlights key works of art that the law enforcement organization designates as important stolen works of art taken in incidences which have been reported during the previous six months.Some recent examples are from Syria, Raqqa and Palmyra. 

Intangible Heritage

  • None

Reports and Updates from the Syrian People

Restoration of the Ferhya Tomb

A specialised team of archaeologists from the Authority of Tourism and Protection of Antiquities in Al-Jazira province have been working on restoration of the Ferhya tomb (south-east of Derbasiya). Restoration is supported by the organisation of UNDP and the Presbyterian national evangelical church.

Anniversary of project documenting Syrian archaeological sites

SANA reported on the ten year anniversary of a project documenting Syrian archaeological sites. The voluntary team have completed the documentation of 70 heritage and historical sites since then, and up to 15,000 digital photos have been collected.

The Directors of Antiquities in Al Tabqa document Al-Soura site

The Directorate of Antiquities in Al-Tabqa documented the archaeological site Al Soura which was bulldozed using heavy machinery prior to its liberation by Syria`s democratic forces. The site dates back to the Byzantine and Roman periods and was excavated by a Syrian mission.

Mine clearance leads to discovery

According to Twitter, mosaic flooring was discovered in Oqairabat (near Hama) by the Syrian Army while they were clearing mines.

New photo exhibition in Aleppo by Aladiat Association

See here to learn more about the new exhibit titled “Aleppo by the eyes of its people.”

Policy Changes and Updates from Syria

  • None

International Activity

UNESCO funds reconstruction of al-Lat goddess statue

A UNESCO funded project has reproduced a statue of the goddess al-Lat using laser projection equipment adapted by the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) in Oxford.

IEA de Paris rountable on preservation of Syrian cultural sites

The Institut d’études avancées de Paris (IEA de Paris) will host a symposium on the destruction of archaeological sites in Syria since 2011, including some of the leaders in Syria’s heritage preservation efforts (Syrian and international). 6 – 7 February 2018. 
More information and tickets available on the IEA de Paris website here.
Dr Emma Cunliffe will be speaking on the national and international actions reports about the protection of Syria’s heritage, produced by Heritage for Peace.

News Updates
(Not covered in other sections)

  • The Syrian Newspaper Tishreen published an article on a restoration turning into a gourmet restaurant.
  • According to Syria War Report, a program at Penn University is currently looking into the possibility of using sniffer dogs to detect cultural artifacts trafficked from Syria.
  • The LA Times published a series of photographs showing the damage in Palmyra.
  • The Iris, the Getty’s blogging site, published an article discussing Palmyra and the need to protect cultural heritage during conflict
  • News Deeply examined minorities in post-ISIS Syria and Iraq, writing about the diversity of Syrian society and the complicated aspects of its national heritage monuments.
  • Springer made available a free e-book on “The Making of Islamic Heritage:Muslim Pasts and Heritage Presents.”
  • Another free pdf was released by Topoi – “Between Memory Sites and Memory Networks New Archaeological and Historical Perspectives” with some interesting papers on conflict and contested spaces. It can be downloaded here.
  • Eurozine published an insightful piece with many important points interviewing German archaeologist Andreas Schmidt-Colinet, who argues against Western institutions reconstructing damaged Syrian cultural sites.

This mailing list was produced by Dr Emma Cunliffe, in association with Heritage for Peace
Copyright © 2018 Heritage for Peace, All rights reserved.

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