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Aleppo Update: An inspiring return to the oft-bombed National Museum

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National Museum, Aleppo

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Of Syria's 28 museums, the one that holds the record to date for being the most targeted by rebel bombs, mortars, and snipers is probably the National Museum, not fare from the Old City near the frontline in ancient Aleppo.

The Aleppo National Museum, which was opened in 1931 and expanded in 1966, is located just outside of the boundaries of the Ancient City of Aleppo, a World Heritage property. It houses and exhibits countless treasures of ruins and antiques spanning the history of Aleppo province and millennia of world history. It contents include thousands of objects reflecting all periods of Syrian history, including an important Islamic section. The National Museum complex includes five museums, the Prehistory Museum, the Old Oriental Museum, the Classical Museum, the Arab-Islamic Museum and the Modern Art Museum.

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Like Aleppo itself, the Museum has been on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger since 2013, with its endangered status being confirmed this year during the 40th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee . Like the nearby Old City of Aleppo, the Museum has suffered extensive damage the past 4 years and was heavily bombed again just four months ago, on July 11. This time being hit this time by three mortar shells, causing extensive damage to the roof and structure of the building. Also destroyed was a multi-million dollar generator and electric unit on the roof of the Museum.

(Image by Franklin Lamb 12/4/2016)   Details   DMCA
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Nearly all the long narrow windows that span the west side of the Museum were blown out over a year ago when mortars pierced the roof, one severely wounding a 4 year old girl who tragically lost her arm when a rebel mortar came through the ceiling of the Exhibition Hall she was sleeping in. At the time of the attack the child was sheltering in the Museum with her father who is a museum employee.

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)

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