|Archeological Sculptures confiscated in Palmyra|
|مصادرة مجموعة قطع أثرية في تدمر|
In the collection confiscated, there are three female figures wearing Palmyrene traditional clothes, three funerary reliefs presenting men figures, two figures of Plmyrene priests wearing the hats for Priests and lastly a scene in relief representing a funerary feast.The sculptures are probably stolen from the archaeological site of Palmyra by means of illegal excavations, Therefore, the Antiquity Department of Palmyra is keeping the artifacts in order to document them.
The cultural heritage of Syria
I am very proud of the sites and pages springing up on the social media specially Facebook and on the web ,which are now covering the cultural heritage of Syria. Archaeologists young and old, observers and activists outside Syria, in virtual reality and on the ground inside Syria, in addition to scholars and researchers, are documenting, recording, watching, archiving and fighting in order to save what can be saved of the Syrian cultural heritage. The Directorate General of Museums and Antiquities after a period of low keyed activities in the field of exerting the required efforts to protect the cultural heritage of Syria, has moved into an interval of heightened and commendable activities, rising up to the task of doing its duty towards Syria’s cultural heritage. The International efforts too have entered a new phase after a period of paralysis and almost indifference. Great efforts are being exerted now to deal with or stop the grave dangers of illegal trafficking in antiquities. For as long as the looters and the traffickers are confident about finding Byers and global markets, illegal excavations and vandalization of the archaeological sites will continue, threatening even the sites where the archaeologists have not started excavating yet.
I would like here to pay special tribute to the Revolution citizen journalists who, when nobody was documenting and filming, risked their lives to video and record the damages inflicted on Syria’s cultural heritage. Alisar
Syrian cultural heritage a victim of war in Rome exhibition
(ANSAmed) – ROME, JUNE 19 – An exhibition aiming to show how the conflict in Syria is taking a huge toll on the country’s archeological and historical-artistic heritage opened in the Italian capital on Thursday.
At the exhibition of Syrian Antiquities in Rome
Pictures from the exhibition Syria The Splendour and the Drama at Palazzo Venezia
Mostra: Siria Splendore e Dramma معرض: سورية الألق والمأساة Exhibition: Syria Splendor and Drama
The exhibition ‘Syria, Splendour and Drama’ at Palazzo Venezia focuses on this aspect of the conflict after over three years of fighting. ”The campaign for the protection of Syria’s cultural heritage runs against the grain,” said senator and former culture minister Francesco Rutelli, who is one of the supporters of the exhibition through his association Priorità Cultura.
”We are all concerned about the Syrian population. When people are killed, archaeological and cultural heritage become less of a priority. But this is not a valid reason to ignore the disaster of the destruction of some of the most important cultural heritage in the world. That country was the cradle of civilization: emperors, popes, Apollodorus of Damascus – they all came from there. What is happening is beyond repair.” ”After WWII,” added Paolo Matthie, director of the Italian archaeological mission in Syria, ”we thought that something similar to what happened in Dresden and Montecassino (where bombing razed an ancient abbey) would never happen again. UNESCO is doing its part by getting Syria’s neighbors involved. For example, a ‘red list’ of the works that might be smuggled out has been distributed. Two lorries filled with stolen cultural artifacts have already been given back by Lebanon and one by Turkey.” But more needs to be done, said Rutelli.
Syrian social media pages and websites dedicated to the archaeology of Syria and the protection of its cultural heritage
See also the article on Syrian cultural heritage being a casualty of the war at The Chronicle of Higher Education
Emergency Red List of Syrian Antiquities at Risk is launched in New York
On Wednesday, 25 September, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova joined the President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz, and United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Ms Anne Richard, to launch an Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk.
The event was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and also featured remarks from the Museum’s Director, Mr Thomas Campbell, as well as the President of the World Monuments Fund, Ms Bonnie Burnham.
Since 2000, in close partnership with UNESCO, ICOM has published 12 Red Lists for cultural objects at risk from across the globe.
The ICOM Red Lists facilitate the work of police, customs officials and all other professionals concerned with the protection of cultural property worldwide by helping them identify the categories of objects that are particularly vulnerable to illegal purchase, transaction and export. The Syrian Red List contains objects covering the most important periods of Syrian history: Prehistory and Ancient history, Islamic era and Middle Ages as well as Ottoman period.
Voicing her profound shock and distress at the loss of so many lives in Syria since the beginning of the conflict, Irina Bokova recalled the tragic and irreversible destruction of Syria’s unique heritage, from Aleppo to the world Heritage site of the Crac des Chevaliers.
“At UNESCO, we believe there is no choice to make between saving lives and saving cultural heritage. Protecting heritage is inseparable from protecting populations, because heritage enshrines people’s identities. Heritage gives people strength and confidence to look to the future — it is a force for social cohesion and recovery. This is why protection of heritage must be an integral part of all humanitarian efforts” Irina Bokova stated.
Irina Bokova expressed a special thanks to the United States Department of State for its financial support, which enabled the development of this Emergency Red List. She also paid tribute to the US steadfast commitment in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property, particularly in the framework of UNESCO’s 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and she expressed her hope that the United States of America will continue to stay fully engaged with UNESCO.
“Syria’s irreplaceable heritage can only be protected through a coordinated international response,” the Director-General emphasized. Highlighting UNESCO’s actions in this regard – including the organized technical meetings and trainings as well as the endorsed action plan aimed at preventing further losses and repairing damage to Syrian cultural heritage – Irina Bokova called for active cooperation from Syria’s neighbours, as well as from its police and customs partners, to stiffen efforts to fight against illicit trafficking.