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16.07.2017 - 11: 41

Destruction, looting and looting ... Silence of museums affected by the "Arab spring"

Iraq is a country whose museums have stolen and stolen the largest number of archaeological artifacts - 3100. How do they celebrate the International Museum Day every year, when vandalism and looting reign around? Islamic monuments in Syria were not saved, the shrines of the prophet Muhammad's ascetics were blown up by members of the IGIL group (banned in the Russian Federation - ed.). Since 2011, Syrian monuments and museums, especially the museums of Hama, are constantly being destroyed and robbed.

The idea of ​​creating a world day of enlightenment and preservation of historical, cultural values ​​and artifacts of the museum was proposed in 1977 at the general conference of ICOM (the conference of the International Council of Museums - approx. Ed.), Supported by UNESCO. It was suggested every year to choose a specific topic dedicated to issues of museum activity. It seems that the most appropriate theme, which united all countries during the celebration of the International Museum Day, is the "destruction, devastation, theft and robbery" of museums and monuments that have been going on for the last two decades. It all began with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which is now considered the country most affected by the destruction and theft of museum values. In addition, it is this time is the worst period in the history of the country. 8 April 2003 year was the last working day for the Iraqi national "Baghdad Museum", because it was then that the Iraqi army collided with the forces of the United States in this historic place, making it an easy prey for marauders and thieves. For four days, gangs specializing in the theft of antiques, devastated the museum, leaving only large obelisks and statues, which because of their weight could not be stolen.

Museums of Iraq

Marauders looted archaeological repositories, stole about 3100 artifacts, but 3000 of them were later returned to the museum. The situation of works of art was not better. A statue of the Sumerian King Eanatum of Lagash State was stolen, which dates back to 4400 years (Eanatum ruled around 2450-2425 - approx. Ed.). It's amazing that the US has returned this historic value. The most interesting of the stolen exhibits is the original guitar of the Ur Dynasty, made under the reign of Queen Puabi in 2450 BC. It is the main key for creating all string instruments. Later, her strings were returned, but thieves stole gold, with which the instrument was inlaid.


IGIL blows up the "Shrine of the Forty" and the "Green Church" in the governorate of Salah-ed-din

Years go by, and robberies remain. Now the marauders gave way to the terrorist group IGIL (banned in the Russian Federation - approx. Ed.), Which continues to plunder the museums of Iraq. In June 2014, just a few days after this Igil captured Mosul, the statue of Abu Tammam, the author of the collection of poems "Hamas", was destroyed. At the end of September 2014 year in the city of Tikrit was blown up "Shrine of the Magpie", in which were buried the remains of 40 soldiers of the army of caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, who fought around 638 for Madain. In 2014, the "Green Church" was erased from the face of the earth, built around 1300 in Tikrit, the largest city in the Salah-ed-din governorate in northern Baghdad. In addition, in the same 2014 the historical monument was destroyed - the Sultan of Weiss Mosque, located in the center of Mosul.

Mosul's Library

2015 year has become one of the worst years in the history of Iraq. Igil captured the city of Mosul. In February 2015, the world witnessed the catastrophe that befell the museum in Iraq: the militants of this terrorist group published a video in which they showed the scale of destruction of the most important historical monuments of this country. In addition, on those shots, the terrorists undermined the statues and trampled them with their feet. Moreover, IGIL blew up the library of Mosul and burned a lot of books, but before selecting the best of them and took it herself. The same thing they did in the ancient city of Khatra in northern Iraq in March 2015 and the same month in the city of Nimrud. UNESCO condemned the terrorist group for such actions, calling them a "war crime". In July of the same year they blew up the shrine of the prophet Jonah.

Museum in Yemen

By Yemen, "happiness" came when in 2015 the military operation "Storm" began, during which a huge number of historical monuments were destroyed. The archaeological sites of Yemen were bombarded and bombed by the Husits ​​on the one hand, and, and the air strikes of the Arab coalition on the other hand. The National Museum of the country, founded in 1912 during the reign of Fadl Bin Ali Al-Abdali (the sultan of the then existing Sultanate of Lahej in southern Yemen - ed.), Was destroyed.

19.06.2017 On the territory of this country are historical objects, built more than four thousand years ago: palaces, temples, statues, castles, fortresses and so on. The most famous of them are the Sabean kingdom in Maribe, the kingdom of Mine in Al Jawf, the kingdom of Kataban in the valley of Beehan, Ausan in the Marha valley and the ancient city of Shabwa in the state of Hadramaut. According to official statistics, data published by the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Yemen, as a result of wars and armed conflicts, many archaeological artifacts were stolen and objects destroyed or severely damaged.

Palace of Arms

Among the stolen and destroyed historical monuments of Yemen, located in the governorate of Sana'a, one can not but recall the "palace of arms", located on the ruins of the famous Gumdan palace, which is considered one of the oldest architectural wonders of its time. It was in him that the last king of the Khimyarite kingdom lived - King Saif bin Dhi Yazan, who ruled in the 6th century. The palace was destroyed, and some historical buildings in the old town of Sana'a and the village of Attan were damaged as a result of the continuous bombing of the capital. The mosque and the tomb of Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanani, located in the Hamra governorate in the village of Dar Al-Heid, were also completely destroyed.

After the air bombardment and destruction of the old citadel of Al-Kahera, built in the era of Sulayhid (1045-1138), the destruction of military monuments of the province of Taiz began. Throughout history, the fortress played an important role in political and military processes. Thus, Ayyubids resided there after their accession to Yemen in 1173. In addition, she was the son of the Rasulid dynasty, who ruled the country during the period from 1229 to 1454. As for the governorate of Aden, there was destroyed the historical fortress of Syrah built in the XI century, and the building of the mosque of Jokhar was severely damaged. The old town of Sa'ada governorate was bombed, as well as one of the oldest and most important mosques - the Al-Hadi Mosque - built in the 9th century.


Museum values ​​turned into ashes after the attack of husits

In addition, a huge number of museums and historical monuments were destroyed in other governorates of Yemen. For example, in Al-Jauf the wall of the city of Barakish was destroyed, and in Marib the wall of the temple of Aval Sarukh. In the province of Addala, the wall of Dar al-Hasan was destroyed, the date of its construction dates back to the pre-Islamic period.

Pearl of the Sham countries

Since March 2011, the "pearl of the countries of Sham", an archaeological Syrian treasure, an eyewitness of events taking place for more than five thousand years, has been subject to looting and large-scale destruction. In the entire region, more than 300 historical monuments were destroyed. In 2012, the goal of marauders and robbers in Syria became the most important archaeological sites, namely, the ancient weapons were stolen from the Hama Museum, and a marble statue was stolen from the Apamea Museum. In addition, Kallat al-Madik fortress, located in the province of Hama, was bombed, and the historic town of Ible, located in Idlib Governorate, was completely looted. In the suburbs of Palmyra is the castle of Ibn Maana, built during the Roman Empire, which was also destroyed. The Homs Museum, as well as the Folk Art Museum in Aleppo and the museum of the city of Maar, located between Aleppo and Hama, were looted by marauders and armed groups. As for the last of them, more than 30 works of art were stolen from it, however, fortunately, none of the mosaics beautifully laid out on its walls was damaged.

Historical and architectural complex of Ancient Palmyra in the Syrian province of Homs

In addition, the Roman Theater in Palmyra, built about two thousand years ago, was destroyed by IGIL. In May 2015 year after the capture of the city on the square of the historic site, militants shot a huge number of people. In June of the same year, the world suffered several more irreparable losses: the destruction of the shrine of Muhammad ibn Ali, the descendant of Ali ibn Abu Talib's family, and also the shrine of Abu Baha Ad-Din. In August 2015, the IGIL fighters blew up the famous temple in Palmyra.

Museum of Egypt

Since January 2011 in Egypt, a huge number of museums have been destroyed and plundered, including a museum in Tahrir Square and the Mallawi Museum, a large part of the exhibits and relics that were destroyed during the revolution and "massacre" 14 August 2013 (the rout of the camps of supporters of deposed President Mohammed Mursi the military - approx. Ed.). In addition, during these events, most of the archaeological artifacts were stolen from it, and the facades of the building were badly damaged. In 2014, during the attack on the building of the security department, the Museum of Islam in Cairo was destroyed, and the most important exhibits were irretrievably lost.

Cairo Museum

18 March 2015 year in Tunisia attacked by terrorists was subjected to the National Museum of Bardo, which is the second largest museum in the world after the museum of Sigma in Turkey, which stores large Roman mosaics. It should be noted that terrorist acts are also taking place outside the Arab world. So, 3 February last year, the world witnessed an attack on the Louvre in Paris.

The question is, how can we celebrate the International Museum Day every year against such vandalism and robbery? Does not UNESCO have to deal with the protection of architectural monuments, as well as the return of stolen artifacts?

It is worth noting that the word "museum" comes from the Greek word Musa. The first such institution was founded by Ptolemy I Soter, the ancestor of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Alexandria, the "bride" of the Mediterranean, in 280 BC. In the museum were collected statues of goddesses of beauty, music and poetry, as well as the latest inventions in the field of medicine. Later it was converted to a Greek school. Initially, the museum was created as a temple of the Muses, and the name of the goddess of art was Musa, it is from here that the word "music" originates, sounding approximately the same in all languages.

A source: ИноСМИ

Author: Gaba Adil (Ghaba Adil, Al Ahram, Egypt)

Tags: Iraq, Middle East, Museums, Points of Interest, Monuments, War in the Middle East, Syria, Terrorism