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Artifact Smuggling Threatens Syria’s Heritage

Thursday, February 14, 2013


AMMAN, JORDAN—Many archaeological artifacts have been stolen from sites and museums during Syria’s civil war, according to a report from Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of the country’s antiquities department, who has asked for help from the United Nations to stop the illicit trade. Some of the objects that are missing include an eighth-century B.C. bronze statue stolen from the Hama National Museum, and Byzantine mosaics bulldozed from the Roman city of Apamea. Other historic sites have been damaged or destroyed in battle. “We want a united front to stop the destruction. These acts are not only attacks on Syria’s heritage, they are attacks on the world’s heritage,” he said.