The historic medieval market, one of the best-preserved old souks in the Middle East, has become collateral damage in the civil war. Most of the other sites recognized as heritage sites by UNESCO are also believed to have suffered damage during the 18-month battle to oust Assad, says Kishore Rao, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Center, according to the Washington Post.
- UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova comments on the damage to the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo:
- Guns and fire in the Umayyad Mosque, 10 resp. 13 October 2012:
- BBC:These photographs, taken by tourists, show Aleppo’s Old City in more peaceful times.
- In this 6 minute interview archaeologist Michael Danti talks about the damage to the souk of Aleppo:
- Emma Cunliffe (Durham University/Global Heritage Fund) documented all known damage to archaeological sites and museums in Syria. Although published in May 2012 the document is not outdated but a key source.
Looting Syria’s Past
Julien Anfruns, director general of ICOM: "Right now we are pretty much in the worst-case scenario in Syria" for looting and the destruction of archaeolgical sites.
- "When the war is finally over, Syria will have lost most of the physical evidence of thousand of years of rich history. The children of Syria are now bereft of the opportunity to visit and see up close their cultural identity; they have been robbed. If you don’t have knowledge of your history, how can you know where you are going!"