Syrian National Museum in Damascus Reopens

Sryan National Museum at Damascus
Source: Ministry of Culture, Syrian Arab Republic

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

After six years of closure due to the conflict of civil War, the Syrian Arab Republic’s Ministry of Culture announced the reopening of its national museum. The institution presents welcomed news not only in a sign of normalization within civilian life in Damascus, but a reversal of years of wanton destruction by iconoclastic jihadists and thefts by opportunists claiming spoils of war.

This past Sunday featured a symposium hosted by internationally recognized archaeologists and the arrangement of showcases presented to the general public. The re-opening followed a years long campaign against ISIS and other jihadists plaguing the vicinity of the capital.

ISIS brutalized Syria’s history and people: from destroying the ancient Temple of Baalshamin; emplacing land mines and traps around Palmyra; and the beheading of Archaeologist Khaled Asaad for his refusal to reveal the location of some of the country’s historical treasures.

Though this reversal of fortune is certainly laudable, there remains considerable armed conflict within the nation, especially in the Northwest.

Allepo continues to remain precariously close to war. The state museum in the old city remains shut and evacuated. In a testament to the situation several large statutes–unable to be moved due to their size–forced curators to protect these in-situ using large crates filled with concrete to protect against shrapnel.

The Syrian Arab Army relocated many artifacts from other remote locations in an attempt to preserve them from plunder. Restoration and reacquisition continues.

By Darren Smith


Official Website

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

14 thoughts on “Syrian National Museum in Damascus Reopens”

  1. Is restoration or acquisition premature? I am greatly concerned for the safety of any art or archeological site vulnerable to destruction by ISIS or even Antifa. Once art or an historic structure have been destroyed, it’s gone forever. Any moveable artifacts that are vulnerable to loss should be evacuated, and held in trust.

    Khaled Asaad laid his life down to protect significant archeological and artistic treasures. Was anything done for his family? Do they need to be evacuated? If he had a family then the world needs to do right by them. His sacrifice should be recognized, regardless. He should be posthumously awarded some recognition, and there should be a new museum built and named after him, specializing in such artifacts.

  2. Off topic but shows that the Republicants really can’t steer the economy:

    The Perversion of Fiscal Policy (Slightly Wonkish)
    Paul Krugman
    2018 Nov 02

  3. Poor Syria; rich in history and antiquities. But bankrupt politically with no hope for positive change. As long as Russia keeps Assad in Damascus, Syria will remain a tense and fractured state.

    1. Russia Assad and Iran saves Syria from ISIS. We should be thanking them for actually winning a war.

  4. It will be interesting to see what is missing and how long it take them to track the missing items down.

Comments are closed.