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General up-dating January - February 2014 – University of Copenhagen

Syrian Heritage > Updatings and events > General up-dating Janu...

14 February 2014

General up-dating January - February 2014

New and ongoing international initiatives   

The launching of a Roma based “International campaign for Syrian cultural heritage at risk”. The campaign has been launched officially by former Italian minister F. Rutelli and the leading Italian archeologist P. Matthiae.

For more information see the link in English:

The launching of a UNESCO project over Syrian cultural heritage based on the setting up a task force in Beirut to monitor and document the situation of cultural heritage in the country. The project is funded by EU and is supposed to have the following components:

  • The creation of damage assessment and documentation database of Syrian cultural heritage
  • The launching of a communication and awareness campaign to fight the illicit traffic of Syrian cultural heritage.

The training and capacity building for national cultural heritage stakeholders, and first aid technical assistance measures.

For more information see the link in English:

The launching of a Berlin based project entitled “Syrian Heritage Archive Project “. The project is a cooperation project between the German of Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin. The project aims at having a digital cultural heritage list for Syria. It has started already in November 2013 and is supposed to run through 2014.

For more information see their website:

The launching of “Heritage for Peace”. The “Heritage for Peace” is an NGO (Non-governmental Organisation), that has been founded in February 2013, and which is based in Girona, Spain. The NGO includes a group of international heritage workers and has held a press-conference mid-January 2014. The NGO has a special focus on the protection of the cultural heritage of Syria during its armed conflict.

For more information see their web-site:


Articles and various activities


The launching of ‘The Monuments Men", a film focusing on the preservation of cultural heritage during the Second World War. The movie has been described by UNESCO as a helping factor in the process of shedding the light on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural heritage in war zones. 

See the link in English:

Ongoing activities at the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, Damascus  (DGAM)

The completion of a new draft law on protection of Syrian archaeological heritage that is going to provide a higher level of legal protection for the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and empower institutional and administrational reform to the authorities in charge of safeguarding the heritage.

See the link in English:

The realization of  new Google Earth maps by the IT section at the DGAM that show the damages of the cultural heritage at the cities of Homs and Aleppo

See the link in English:

The publication of an up-to-date version of the general annual  DGAM report documenting the damage and violations at the different Syrian museums and archaeological sites as well as the measures taken since the beginning of the crisis until the end 2013

See the link in English:

See the link in Arabic:

Reported damages

(Based on The Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), official sources)

The following damages were reported to sites in the zone of Damascus Daraa and Deir ez Zor 

  • Mortar shell fell on the Calligraphy Museum in Damascus, has caused slight damages.
  • In the region of Deir ez Zor in northeast, Illegal excavation and plunder activities are still taking place in very large scale. The most affected are the already vandalized sites of Mari and Dura Europos. Efforts to stop the destruction were not successful unfortunately.
  • In the region of Daraa in the south, the archeological site of Tell Alasharai, an important Bronze Age site, is in threat.