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Antiquities Directorate Cooperating with International Bodies to Recover Syrian Artifacts Stolen and Smuggled by Terrorists

Dr. Mahmoud Hamoud, Director General of Antiquities and Museums, said that the directorate is cooperating with all international bodies concerned with cultural heritage to recover the Syrian artifacts stolen and smuggled by terrorist groups during recent years.

In a statement to SANA, Hamoud clarified that the directorate is now preparing a file to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL with the aim of intensifying international cooperation and efforts to recover these ancient artifacts due to their significance as part of the international cultural and civilization heritage.

  He pointed out that the media recently collected information about looting artifacts by terrorist organizations from the Jewish temple in the Suburb of Jobar in Damascus, which is one of the oldest synagogues in Syria, and smuggling them outside the country, mainly to Turkey and "Israel". Such information constitute a dangerous sign that reveals how big the size of the conspiracy and aggressive plan targeting Syria and its civilization is.

 Hamoud pointed out that there are many reports about Syrian archaeological artifacts that have been stolen and smuggled to Jordan, adding that the Jordanian authorities have confiscated many of them

Dr. Hamoud stressed that it is difficult to know the number of the artifacts stolen and smuggled by terrorists to outside Syria, due to illegal archeological excavations and the smuggling of discovered antiquities abroad. This necessitates the international bodies to cooperate with Syria to help recover all stolen archaeological artifacts as soon as possible, he said.

Reports and images of looting, smuggling and destroying antiquities by the terrorists of "Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Islam, Failaq al-Rahman" and affiliated groups didn't stop during the years of the war on Syria.