Close  
  • share this

Antiquities museum reopens in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib

/ 06:15 PM August 14, 2018

Pottery pieces are displayed at the Idlib Museum after it reopened on Aug. 13, 2018 in the northern Syrian city of Idlib. Image: AFP/Omar Haj Kadour

An antiquities museum in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib, said to house one of the world’s oldest dictionaries, reopened on Monday after five years, an AFP correspondent said.

Dozens of visitors trickled into the museum in Idlib city to see what an official said represented just a fraction of the building’s collection.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ayman al-Nabu, head of antiquities for the city controlled by an alliance of rebels and jihadists, said the museum had been damaged by air strikes and looting during Syria’s nearly seven-year conflict.

After it was closed in 2013, “we carried out maintenance and rehabilitated the museum to give it new life,” he said.

FEATURED STORIES

Organizers are planning “visits for a whole generation of students who have been unable to visit archeological sites due to the war,” he added.

The museum is said to house a collection of clay tablets dating back to 2400 to 2300 BC, which bear witness to the invention of the first alphabet.

They were discovered in Idlib province’s site of Ebla, which was the seat of one of ancient Syria’s earliest kingdoms.

Nabu urged UNESCO to help preserve the archeological sites of the province, and said archeology has nothing to do with politics.

On Monday, a man admired clay lamps displayed in a glass cabinet, while a women took a picture with her phone of a collection including a large amphora.

A dark gray statuette stood beheaded on a pedestal in a corner.

Archeologist Fayez Qawsara said he remembers the museum’s opening in 1989.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I attended the founding of Idlib museum in my youth… and today, after all these dark happenings, the museum is reopening with what remains in it,” he said.

Important objects in the collection included “the Ebla tablets and basalt statues showing ancient religious rites,” he said.

Major historical sites or monuments have been destroyed in fighting and by jihadists during Syria’s war, including in the UNESCO-listed world heritage site of Palmyra.

Idlib is the last province in Syria that is still largely under opposition control.

President Bashar al-Assad has warned that government forces intend to retake the province after his Russia-backed regime seized territory from rebels and jihadists in other parts of Syria.

The war has also killed 350,000 people and displaced millions more. JB

RELATED STORIES:

Cat whisperers, attention: Get paid to cuddle cats on a secluded Greek island

Japanese family travels all the way to Brunei by bicycle

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: alphabet, Destinations, Museum, Oldest, Syria
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.