Syria urges international community to work to stop looting Syrian cultural heritage

Paris, SANA-Director General of Antiquities and Museums Dr. Maamoun Abdul Karim called on the international community to help in the efforts to stop looting the Syrian cultural heritage by terrorist organizations and implement the UN Security Council Resolution 2199 on halting the funding obtained by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations.

In a speech during a meeting of the INTERPOL Expert Group on Stolen Cultural Property which concluded its activities Wednesday in Lyon, France, Abdul Karim called on the countries neighboring Syria to beef up border control to prevent the smuggling of Syrian cultural property.

Speaking about the current situation of the Syrian cultural heritage, he pointed out to the increasing illegal excavation and stealing artifacts by terrorist organizations, adding that ISIS destroyed irreplaceable artifacts and is looting hundreds of archaeological sites as a means of financing terrorism.

He reviewed the measures adopted by the Antiquities and Museums Directorate since the beginning of the terrorist war on Syria, noting that they contributed to protecting museums and helped restore around 6,500 smuggled artifacts in cooperation with the authorities and the local community.

The meeting, which was held with the participation of Syria, dedicated its first day to discuss the current situation in Syria and Iraq and countries which serve as routes to transfer the stolen property to its destination. The meeting also discussed finding ways to reduce the funding of the organized crime and terrorism in the Middle East.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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