Looting Is the Greatest Threat to Our Cultural Heritage in Syria

30 Dec 2014 12:20 PM | Anonymous

Looting Is the Greatest Threat to Our Cultural Heritage in Syria

And there are a few positive signs it can be curtailed.

Kalat al-Numan citadel, Idlib province, SYRIA undefined Can the worst patrimonial disaster since World War II be stopped?

No matter how badly this observer periodically assesses the threat to our cultural heritage as he travels across Syria, the reality always turns out to be worse. As we enter 2015, much of Syria has been reduced to apocalyptic landscapes. During the 45 months of the Syrian crisis, war destruction inflicted from all sides has created massive damage to our shared global cultural heritage that has been in the custody of the Syrian people for more than ten millennia.

Few would dispute the fact that the level of destruction of Syria‚Äôs archaeological sites has become catastrophic. Unauthorized excavations, plunder, and trafficking in stolen cultural artifacts in Syria is a serious and escalating problem and threatens the cultural heritage of us all. Due to illicit excavations, many objects have already been lost to science and society.