Syrian museums have locked away thousands of ancient treasures to protect them from looting and violence but one of humanity's greatest cultural heritages remains in grave peril, the archaeologist charged with their protection said.
Aleppo's medieval covered market has already been gutted by fires which also ripped through the city's Umayyad mosque. Illegal excavations have threatened tombs in the desert town of Palmyra and the Bronze Age settlement of Ebla, and Interpol is hunting a 2,700-year-old statue taken from the city of Hama.Again, I am suspicious of most statements being made by the Assad regime currently in power, but storing museum collections at a safe location during a war is never a bad idea. It safeguards them both from insiders trying to steal, and from mobs 'celebrating' the fall of the previous regime, both of which were found to have been the case at Baghdad Museum.
Palmyra is a town Assad cronies have Cried Wolf over too many times ... and turned out to be lying through their teeth about. Nope, the rebels did not shell it to smithereens, or pillage it or .... (insert whatever nonsense they'll claim next).
Abdulkarim said the most significant pieces to go missing since the start of the conflict were a gilt bronze statue from around 2,000 years ago that was stolen from the city of Hama - and placed on Interpol's 'Most Wanted' list of art works a year ago - and a marble piece looted from the garden of Apamea museum.BUT ... again, why are journalists in Jordan repeating this nonsense about the stolen Hama piece. The Assad regime reported it stolen to Interpol in time for it to be on their July 2011 poster, ie it was stolen before then ... which means long before this civil war and the fighting started, when at most there were peaceful demonstrations. So how you can blame 'rebels' that did not yet exist ... Also the authorities reported it as stolen from Damascus Museum, not Hama, with bad photos, which caused quite a bit of initial confusion. Better ones can be found at Loot Busters here, as well as other items from Hama Museum which although not officially reported stolen, probably were - or were destroyed.
I'm just home, so I'll cover the issue more fully once I've slept and seen the dogs. Male and canine varieties.