Arab News Headlines

With Omani efforts… Syria recovers illegally smuggled artifacts from abroad

Syria, in cooperation with the National Museum in the Sultanate of Oman, recovered artifacts that had been smuggled abroad, where they were found in the British Museum in the UK.

The National Museum of Oman worked to hand over the artifacts after coordination with a number of parties concerned with local and international archaeological affairs, and within the framework of the mediation efforts adopted by the museum, and its support for efforts to preserve the Syrian cultural heritage damaged during the years of war.

The ceremony of handing over the artifacts was held between the Omani National Museum and the Embassy of Syria in the Sultanate of Oman.

In her speech via video, the Minister of Culture, Dr. Lubana Mshaweh, thanked the Sultanate of Oman and the parties that participated in the process of recovering and transferring antiquities stolen from Britain, praising the Omani Museum, which contributed to the return of thousands of pieces and antiquities that had been seized by thieves in the areas where terrorists had sabotaged and destructed.

Mshaweh stressed that this recovery has its own symbolism, as it is a victory for civilization over backwardness, and that it was crowned with success after efforts made by several parties for years, after their awareness of the human and cultural value of these antiquities.

In turn, Jamal bin Hassan Al Moosawi, Secretary-General of the National Museum, said “The initiative to return Syrian artifacts to their homeland is the result of tripartite cooperation between the National Museum, the General Directorate of Syrian Antiquities and Museums, and State Hermitage Museum in Russia.

It is also a continuation of the process of cooperation of preserving Syrian Heritage which was damaged during the years of crisis, he added.

The Syrian Ambassador to the Sultanate, Idris Maya, expressed his thanks and gratitude to the leadership and people of Oman for this generous initiative, which reflects their keen interest in human heritage in general and Syrian heritage in particular, and their efforts to return these artifacts to their original homeland, Syria.

Piotrovsky Mikhail Borisovich Director of The State Hermitage Museum, also gave a speech via video in which he praised the efforts made to access the stolen antiquities and restore them to Syria.

“This initiative by the Omani National Museum and its contribution to the recovery of artifacts is not the only one and will not be the last in providing assistance to the National Museum in Damascus. Rather, there are a number of other initiatives, including its contribution to the restoration of Syrian artifacts that were damaged during the war”, Director General of the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, Muhammad Nazir Awad said in a statement to SANA.

It is noteworthy that the returned artifacts are a stone “lintel”, and parts of an archaeological building made of soapstone “steatite” dating back to the middle of the fourth century AD. The origin of the artifacts goes back to the archaeological site of Nawa, in southern Syria.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency