Syria’s heritage sites in danger owing to Syria conflict

  • January 23, 2017

The old city of Aleppo, a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage site requires immediate attention, as per the Syrian antiquities officials.

“What happened in Aleppo is a disaster,” Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s Director General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) told Al Jazeera in a telephone interview from Damascus this week.

“We have more than 150 heritage buildings with different levels of damage, without taking into account places like the ancient souk, 60 percent of which is destroyed … Many of the traditional houses, dating from around the first century AD, are also damaged.”

Syrian government forces took control of the city in early December, after four years of conflict between government forces and armed opposition groups. During the month since the fighting stopped, Abdulkarim’s team has been photographing the city’s ancient heritage sites and assessing the severity of the damage.

While many buildings remain mostly intact, some have suffered catastrophic damage.

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