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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Al-Adiliya Mosque, Aleppo, in 1996. By SpielvogelEnglish: [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons
Panorama of damage to al-Adeliya Mosque
Salah Maraashi Photography has shared a 360 degree panoramic rendering of the damage to the al-Adeliya Mosque in Aleppo.
Updates on Looting
Looting in Idlib
Syrians for Truth and Justice report extensive looting in areas of Idlib. The report suggests that some 500 people were granted permits to research approximately 200 archaeological sites.
UK film festival highlights cinematic heritage of Syria and other countries
Focused on Arab cinema, the UK’s 2018 Safar Film Festival offers rarely seen classics and contemporary films from the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq. Joseph Fahim, curator of Safar Film Festival, states that especially in countries such as Syria, the fate of a swathe of Arab cinematic heritage is ‘simply unknown.” There is more information on the Middle East Eye website.
Damascus Trade Fair and Festival of the Cross
The Damascus International Trade fair and the annual Maaloula Festival of the Cross demonstrates how Syrians in areas liberated from jihadi rule are defiantly celebrating their new found freedom, in Mint Press News.
Reports and Updates from the Syrian People
The joint Syrian-Hungarian archaeological mission begins work at Crak des Chevaliers
The Hungarian archaeological mission is the first foreign mission to begun work in Syria since the conflict. On September 22, 2018 it began work at Qal’aat al-Hosn, also known as UNESCO World Heritage site Crak Des Chevaliers. You can learn more here or here.
Documentation of the damage at archaeological sites in Al Jazira
The Authority for Tourism and the Protection of Antiquities in Al-Jazira province continues to build its Damage Inventory of excavated archaeological sites. They have documented the site of Seker Al-Ahmer and are doing a topographic survey. Read more on this here.
Antiquities exhibited at Latakia arts festival
The first major post-war art festival in the Syrian province of Latakia has been opened with an antiquities exhibition and a theatrical performance in the best-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the city of Jableh. Read more on Sputnik.
Idlib City Council to protect heritage
Idlib Antiquities Centre conducted a meeting with Idlib City Council; they signed an agreement on networking and cooperation with respect to historical buildings and artefacts in the city of Idlib.
Architectural teams continue restoration works of Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo
Restoration of the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo continues, with documentation and reconstruction using the original materials. Read more about this on the SANA website.
Policy Changes and Updates from Syria
Syrian focus at China’s forum on heritage protection
Delegates from Syria, including Assistant Minister of Culture Tawfik Alhajenam, attended the recent Taihe Forum on Protecting the World’s Ancient Civilizations at the Palace Museum in Beijing. You can learn more on China Daily.
The Palace Museum in Beijing signed an agreement with the Syrian Ministry of Culture to restore Syrian relics and to provide materials, training and support for reconstruction efforts post-war. You can read more on China.org.
Syrian antiquities exhibited at the Doha museum
The opening at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (Qatar Museum), of ‘Syria Matters’ will present antiquities and works by living artists in an immersive installation. Read more on the Art Fix Daily website.
Discussion event on the future of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria
A discussion will take place at the British Museum on Friday, December 7th, 2018 regarding the future of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria. Speakers include Jonathan Tubb of the British Museum, and David Gardner from the Financial Times correspondent, with more speakers to be announced. To learn more go to the British Museum website.
Aleppo Project report on coordination networks
The Aleppo Project has published a report on the coordination of networks that surround the Syrian conflict. The report is based on findings from 30 interviews with international and regional organizations working in the context of the Syrian conflict. The report further discusses strategies to bridge the work of local and international organizations.
(Not covered in other sections)
The Conversation writes about cultural heritage as a vital part of human rights.
In the Smithsonian, two ancient sculptures of women (including Haliphat from Palmyra) speak to the importance of saving the world’s cultural heritage in the face of human conflict and the looting of antiquities.