Syria's Exhibition "Hope and Work" Opened

The National Union of Syrian Students at Damascus University held yesterday an artistic exhibition entitled “Syria is Hope and work”. The event took place at the Faculty of Fine Arts. Children represent various schools and university students took part in the exhibition. It included different works such as sculpture, photograph, oil paintings and caricature. Their works focused on national cohesion, hope and optimism to achieve promising future  

 The artist, Khaled Hijazi, said that the participating works reflect the activity and vitality of the Syrian people and reflect their hope and ambition for better and safe future.

N.Haj Kheder

UNESCO Urges Syria’s Neighbors to Ban Illicit Trafficking in Country’s Antiquities

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (GDAM) stressed in a recent statement that the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had responded to the Directorate’s request to urge Syria’s neighboring countries to prevent illicit trafficking in Syrian antiquities and artifacts. For this purpose, the Organization made necessary coordination with the international police and customs, the ICOMOS Organization and the archaeological missions working in some archeological sites in Syria.

Earlier, the GDAM had addressed concerned International organizations upon receiving information from the Antiquities' Directorate in Deir EzZour and from social elite and notable figures staying near Doura Europus and Mari archeological sites, revealing that these two sites have recently been exposed to increasing excavation works. The information also reveal that some Lebanese and Iraqi persons are taking part in the excavations and acts of stealing and that the thieves smuggle the antiquities they stole to Turkey across the northern borders, specifically the Tal Abyad area and other bordering points.

UNESCO’s quick response to GDAM’s request comes in harmony with the recommendations of Amman International Conference, which was recently held to tackle the issue of illicit trafficking in the Syrian cultural heritage and in which representatives of concerned international organizations, archeological and custom authorities in the neighboring states, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, participated.


Engraving Exhibition Opened

Minister of Culture, Dr. Lubana Mushaweh,  recently opened the Syrian retrospection engraving exhibition, which was held in cooperation between the Department of Fine Arts at the Ministry of Culture and Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus.

The exhibition included some works, produced by artists during the past ten years, of different engraved techniques.

“This exhibition is important since it presents the techniques used by professors in the Faculty of Fine Arts and now it is the time to show them to the public, teachers and the students of the Faculty, hoping that it will be the beginning of a new cooperation between them.” Dr. Mushaweh said

Regarding the importance of showing the treasures of the Ministry of Culture Dr. Mushaweh said: “we are keen to re-show the production of arts which the Ministry of Culture had by archiving and printing them to be available to the people, then we will upload them on the website to be the first step to create a Museum for the modern art in Syria”.

For his part, the advisor of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Fawaz Boukdosh, said that hosting the exhibition by the faculty shows that it will not ignore the moral and aesthetic meaning in their students, pointing out that raising these ethical meanings are made through the relationship between  art and society.

Ibrahim Zaaboub

First Porcelain Gathering: Dialogue between Man and Mud

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Deliberations of the first Gathering of Ceramics entitled “Porcelain Dialogue” was launched recently at the Damascus Citadel. The event was held by Directorate of Fine Arts and Higher Institute of Applied Arts with the participation of twelve potters.

The forum began with a press conference in which Head of the Union of Plastic Artists, Dr. Haider Yazigi, described the gathering as a historic moment that ceramic has a special forum interested in such a noble material, by creating a dialogue between man and clay to produce a beautiful creative form.

“The gathering is a first step to rehabilitate this article, especially all historical finds in our country were of this substance that they bear the stamp of permanence far more than other materials” Mr.Yazigi said.


Director of the Higher Institute of Applied Arts, Tariq al Sawah, said that the goal of this gathering is to reviving this art which is closely linked to the Syrian civilization which focused, throughout history, on clay and cuneiform writing.

He pointed out that the reason for choosing the name “Porcelain Dialogue” as a title of the gathering comes from the importance of dialogue to achieve the development of ideas and leads us to promote new cultures of original nature.

He pointed out that the expertise of the Syrian professional potters’ expertise will be integrated into the expertise of the students of the Higher Institute of Applied Arts to develop their aesthetic and plastic vision.

He noted that the workshop will continue until the end of March, pointing to participation of porcelain students in the Institute of Applied Arts to gain more experience and learn to work in all stages where a documentary film will be screened telling the stages of the forum and how the ceramic material is changed from a clay piece to an art form.

Head of Porcelain Department at the Institute of Applied Arts, Wa’il Al -Dahhan spoke about the mechanism of the artists’ work in the gathering, pointing out that each artist began offering his own vision after ensuring all required materials where they will work within 10 days on the implementation of the ceramic figure to enter the furnace.  After the end of this stage, artists will be given time to color and configure their work of arts.  At the end of the gathering there will be a special exhibition to be distributed at the garden of Al -Assad Library and Opera House.

Mr. Al -Dahhan, spoke about the difference between the work on ceramics and other arts, noting that porcelain needs several stages, both in the formation of mud or dealing with ovens and every stage of the work needs to a special oven. He pointed out that the artists will use within the gathering a new way in the work such as newsprint, metal and RACO technique to design creative forms.

At the workshop, the artist, Sariha Shaheen, was working on the early stages to complete its work of art that carries a special character. She said that the substance of mud carries flexibility and beauty which makes it to be changed to the most beautiful works of art and the formation of pottery.

And her participation in the forum, she said that she will achieve a great work of about 120 cm height in an unrealistic bird shape, indicating that work begins in forming clay to fit with the idea to come after that stage of cleaning mud from the impurities from inside and outside, then the material is entered into the oven and baked to turn into pottery and then the work of art acquires the color and baked again until it is ready.

Mrs. Shaheen said that pottery work requires patience and dealing with love, adding that the gathering is actually a dialogue between man and mud and the forum is a first step to rehabilitate the porcelain.

Artist Mohammed Kfouzi, who booked his own corner in the workshop, said that he worked in ceramics ten years ago and participated in many fairs in this domain.

He added that the work in ceramics is tiring, stressing the importance of the forum for artists to brief on techniques of other potters at work.

The artist Raafat Sa’ati said that his participation in the gathering will be through a aesthetic plastic work of art, of120 cm height.

“The relationship with porcelain is old” Mr. Sa’ati said. "I am fond of ceramics being of personal and public benefit and considered that his exercise of ceramic art is a thing for the amusement." he added.

Sh. Kh

Regional workshop: ways to preserve Syria’s Heritage under crisis

Under the title "Regional Training on the Syrian Cultural Heritage: illicit trade",   a workshop was held in Amman on Feb 10 - 13 at the invitation of UNESCO.

According to a report by the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, the participants proposed measures to protect Syrian cultural heritage, under the current crisis, as it has been exposed to acts of theft and vandalism by the armed terrorist groups.

The program of the workshop included; legal international framework to combat illicit trade, the current situation of Syrian antiquities and regional and international cooperation to protect the Syrian cultural heritage.

Recommendations adopted by the workshop included an international plan provided for UN Security Council to adopt a resolution preventing trading with Syrian cultural properties looted during the current crisis and calls for international cooperation to restore back  stolen Syrian monuments and benefiting from the experience of the Syrian General Directorate of Antiquities in preserving Syrian museums, in other parts of the world.


Khaled falhoot