Syrian official warns of trafficking in antiquities

tags: AP, Syria, antiquities, black market



AMMAN, Jordan — A Syrian government official warned Wednesday of rampant trafficking in antiquities from his country and appealed for U.N. help in halting the illicit trade that has flourished during the nearly 23-month-long civil war.

Syria’s turmoil has increasingly threatened the country’s rich archaeological heritage but the issue of smuggling artifacts has taken a back seat to more dramatic images as some of the most significant sites got caught in the crossfire between regime forces and rebels.

President Bashar Assad’s troops have shelled rebel-held neighborhoods, smashing historic mosques, churches and souks, or markets. Looters have stolen artifacts from archaeological excavations and, to a lesser extent, museums....




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