Damage to Syria’s heritage – 29 November 2016


Damage to Syria’s Heritage

29 November 2016




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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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









Updates on Damage




Damage to el-Meqam Mosque 

The Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology released photos showing the damage to the minaret of the Mosque el-Meqam in Hama by an air strike. See them here.





Updates on Looting




New Antiquities Coalition Policy Paper

The New Antiquities Coalition Cultural Heritage Think Tank has released its first policy paper by Ricardo St. Hilaire titled ‘How to end Impunity for Antiquities Traffickers: Assemble a Cultural Heritage Crimes Prosecution Team.” Read more here.





Intangible Heritage




Study to analyse damage to intangible heritage  

The impact of forced displacement on Syria’s traditional crafts and cultural heritage, and the people directly involved in it, is to be analysed in a new research project. Academics from the University of Plymouth will study the industries that have survived among refugee communities forcibly displaced to the neighboring state of Jordan since 2011. You can read more from the Plymouth University.





Reports and Updates from the Syrian People




Bosra Sham Archaeology Department participated in Museums Photographic Documentation course

The Bosra Sham Archaeology Department participated in a Museums Photographic Documentation course in Jordan under the supervision and training of a specialized tutor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Learn more here.




New art exhibitions of Syrian art and archaeology

The Church of Holy Cross in Damascus has hosted a lecture on ‘destiny of Syrian Christian monuments’ and photography exhibition showing rehabilitation works in Saint George Church in Homs city. The Lecture was given by the Father Samir Fayyad and more can be read in the Syrian Times.




Exhibition in Moscow showing the effects on the ongoing Syrian War

Syrian and Russian visual artists held an exhibition in Moscow showing Syria’s situation before and after the war on the country. Their art works depicted the effect of the ongoing war on Syria and the steadfastness of Syrian people, according to the official news agency (SANA), in the Syria Times.




Children rebuild Aleppo city by fine arts

Children rebuild Aleppo city by fine arts: Over 1200 paintings by 40 children aged 4.5-12 years have been featured in an exhibition that began on Friday in the Fine Arts Faculty in Aleppo city under the title ‘By Fine Arts We Build Aleppo,’ according to the Syria Times.




Archaeological exhibition showcasing artefacts including some stolen by terrorists

An archaeological exhibition entitled “Syria’s Battle to defend its Past” opened at the National Center for Visual Arts in Damascus on Wednesday. The exhibition, held in cooperation with the General Directorate for Antiquities and Museums, showcased 70 archaeological artefacts, including a set of small objects that had been stolen and recovered thanks to the efforts of the Syrian Arab army, parties concerned and the Directorate of Antiquities, in addition to huge archaeological objects. You can read more here.




New book on Syria’s archaeological sites

Syrian and foreign archaeologists have contributed to highlight Syria’s deep-rooted history with results of research methods and excavation techniques developed by international archaeological missions, which have discovered hundreds of archaeological sites in the country. To learn more about ” A history of Syria in one hundred sites,” see here.




Policy Changes and Updates from Syria




  • None




International Activity




France and UAE progress heritage protection efforts

A new international partnership aimed at protecting cultural heritage during armed conflicts will be announced between the United Arab Emirates and France at the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference in Abu Dhabi in December, available here.




New art recovery database launched 

Artive will serve as the first non-for-profit to identify claims in regards to artworks, and will consolidate the seemingly-limitless amount of information about at-risk, stolen, looted, and destroyed works of art and cultural property. The organization will function as an expansion of Artclaim, ARI’s pre-existing database project. with details here.




Update on the new exhibition at the Aga Khan

Syria: A living history is not all about archaeology, as this interview shows here.





News Updates
(Not covered in other sections)




  • According to Dr. Mamoun Abud Alkarim, 99% of the Syrian cultural heritage is fine and the DGAM refuses Hollande’s proposal to move artefacts to France. Read more here.
  • Brian Daniels writes for Apollo on whether the destruction of cultural property is a war crime, here.
  • Medmak shared a radio interview by Souriali with Dr. Cheikmous Ali of APSA on the damage to the Syrian cultural heritage and why France asked to move the artefacts, available here.
  • Global Voices interviews Dr. Cheikmous Ali of APSA on The Uphill Battle of Protecting Syrian Antiquities Amidst War, available here.
  • Reflections Blog examines Protecting Cultural Property and Heritage Sites During Conflict here.





This mailing list was produced by Dr Emma Cunliffe, in association with Heritage for Peace
Copyright © 2016 Heritage for Peace, All rights reserved.

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This mailing list was produced by Dr Emma Cunliffe, in association with Heritage for Peace
Copyright © 2016 Heritage for Peace, All rights reserved.

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