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89 Looted Artifacts Returned to Syria

Eighty-nine looted artifacts have returned to Syria through Lebanon and the sale of other looted artifacts in Europe has been stopped in cooperation with INTERPOL and UNESCO.

This is what Director-General of DGAM Dr. Maamoun Abdul Karim unveiled during an interview with the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on the sidelines of the ' Treasures of Syrian Heritage' exhibition opened Wednesday in the National Museum of Damascus.

He clarified that the artifacts were looted from Syria by terrorist organizations and smuggled abroad

 "We have the right to defend our artifacts and to bring them back as long as they are transported illegally," Dr. Abdul Karim said, indicating that the exhibition is an 'awareness message' to the whole world that the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) has exerted every possible effort to protect and document the Syrian cultural heritage, which is a world heritage.

On his part, Deputy Minister of Culture Tawfiq al-Imam said that the exhibition is important because it sheds light on the extent of damage caused by terrorist organizations' attacks against Syrian monuments and the way of rehabilitating them.

"Some photos featured in the exhibition date back to prehistoric ages and show the deep-rooted civilization of Syria," he added, asserting that the Ministry of Culture has decided to protect this heritage through Syrians' unity in confronting terrorism.

There are 10.000 archeological sites in Syria, 300 of them have been damaged since the start of the terrorist war on Syria, Dr. Abdulkarim told the French Le Figaro newspaper in 2015.

Since 2011, Syria has faced a foreign-backed terror war targeting its army, people, civilization and infrastructures in accordance with US-Zionist plot that aims to fragment the region and to have hegemony over its wealth.

Basma Qaddour