Dating culture in syria
Major antiquities have been stolen from at least six museums.Fortunately, the 77,000 artefacts which make up the collections in Syria's archeological museums are now stored in a secure location.But, as Francesco Bandarin explains, "This is not done by peasants living in the area - it's not a spontaneous thing. The market for illicit traffic of cultural objects is huge.We are not on equal ground; we are very weak." The crime circles can't be stopped, conceded Bandarin, adding, "But this does not mean we shouldn't try." Political neutrality for culture's sake UNESCO has developed a plan of action to prevent further damage, although the conflict hinders missions in the country.
But the rich cultural heritage being destroyed in the country is nevertheless important to the whole of humanity.Illicit digs and organized crime Finally, archeological sites are being devastated by illicit excavations. "If you destroy the minaret of the Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, it's a catastrophe, but it is still possible to rebuild it one day, whereas when people just come and take objects, you will never get them back," he explained.Karin Bartl was directing the excavation missions for the German Archeological Institute in Damascus.These sites have been affected by the civil war and were recently added to UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger.A second type of loss comes from thefts in museums.