New Visions and proposals for the resilience of the Syrian heritage

Colloquium: New Visions and proposals for the resilience of the Syrian heritage

10-11 December, in Damascus

View the Colloquium schedule here: Colloquium schedule

According to the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums:
“The event that occurred in Damascus on 10 and 11 December 2016, was not normal event passes and goes without a long stop at its significance and symbolism, and indications .

After passing about six years of the war that targeted our country, and caused a lot of human tragedies, that need a long time to talk about, and the cultural heritage was the most prominent targets and victims, while the Takfiri groups based on the ideology of intellectual extremist was bombing the Antiquities, they destroy , stealing, smuggling and sold the statues, taking advantage of the critical circumstances in the country, they did not stop at this, but the archaeological sites and cities and citadels were converted to fields and arenas of battles, hoping to achieve a fake victories , Whatever it costs.

On the impact of these tragic events and the difficult conditions, DGAM was able to do important work contributed significantly to mitigate the damage that could be disastrous against important part of humanity’s cultural heritage.

The event that happened in Damascus in these days mentioned above, represent of launching a scientific conference titled “a new visions and proposals for the resilience of the Syrian heritage “in cooperation between DGAM and the Office “ ICONEM “ for document the heritage.

About 20 researchers and archaeologists participated in Colloquium’s schedule , they came from Europe and America to support their colleagues in Syria, however, the conference sessions have seen the proposals , discussions , dialogues scientific serious and purposeful , which reflect the true and real intention in supporting Syria’s cultural heritage.

Syria, which its land has granted generosity on each of the intent it as a visitor or a scientist or a researcher and today it welcomes a group of faithful archaeologists, who suffered the fatigue of travel to participate in Colloquium’s schedule, we, with the full conviction that many of the archaeologists in the world wish to come to us, but is still several conditions prevent them from that, but we highly appreciate Permanent communicate with us, and supporting our issues.

However, we still continuing performance of our noble message, with assistance of all sincere in the world for the benefit of Syria and human prosperity of all humanity to save the heritage of Syria, which constitutes an important part of the world cultural heritage.

Director_General of Antiquities & Museums
Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim”

However, the event generated controversy with some archaeologists issuing a protest about the event.

About a recent colloquium in Damascus on December 10th-11th, 2016
The “international” colloquium “New Visions and proposals for the resilience of the Syrian heritage”, organized by the Syrian Ministry of Culture – Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums with the Ministry of Tourism, was held in Damascus on December 10th-11th, 2016: http://www.dgam.gov.sy/…/…/downloads/Colloquium_schedule.pdf
It was attended by a group of European and American colleagues who appeared unconcerned by the propaganda value of their presence among the dignitaries of a regime that is undertaking endless atrocities on its citizens.
At a time when Aleppo is dying, when the historical core of the city is partly reduced to rubble, when the country and its people endure its most tragic moments of pain and suffering, when Palmyra/Tadmor is left again in the hands of jihadists, we remain disarmed and speechless to witness this shameful act of compromise and ignominy, supporting what obviously constitutes a propaganda victory for the regime in Damascus.
We all lament the awful destruction of Syria’s antiquities, but we should abhor even more the Syrian regime’s wholesale destruction of its cities, towns and citizens and condemn those who lend their support to this brutal government, even under the guise of their sincere concern for the fate of its antiquities and cultural heritage.
We, in the name of our associations, wish to express our dismay and bewilderment to our colleagues who lend their prestige and professional affiliations in support of this violent regime. We furthermore, for the honor of our disciplines, wish to disassociate ourselves from their shameful and objectionable behavior and reject their severe and unforgivable attenuation of all our recognized ethical and moral norms.
Marc Lebeau,
The European Centre for Upper Mesopotamian Studies, Brussels
With the support of:
— Cheikhmous Ali (Director), on behalf of the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology,
— Ali Othman (Director), on behalf of Le Patrimoine Archéologique Syrien en Danger,
— Ayman Mustafa Alnabo (Director), on behalf of the Idlib Antiquities Centre,
— Eli Heme Heme (Director), on behalf of the cultural n.g.o. Subartu, Qamishli,
— Soliman Alessa (Director), on behalf of the Department of Antiquities, Bosra,
— Mutasem Syoufi (Executive Director), on behalf of The Day After,
— Richard M. Leventhal (Executive Director), on behalf of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum.