Yemen Asks U.S. for Help to Curb Smuggling of Looted Ancient ArtifactsBreaking News
tags: museums, war, artifacts, Yemen
Yemen’s deputy culture minister, Abdulhadi al-Azazi, remembers standing two years ago amid the rubble of a national museum in his war-torn hometown, Taiz.
Objects he had admired as a youngster — ancient limestone carvings, gilded Torah scrolls, bejeweled Islamic daggers, a spindly 2,500-year-old mummy — were missing amid the charred debris and shattered display cases.
“The museum was wrecked and everything was stolen,” he said in a telephone interview. “Everywhere in our country we see the same thing happening now.”
Some four years into a civil war in which members of a Northern Yemeni faction known as Houthis have fought Saudi-backed Yemeni forces to a stalemate, the extent of the human suffering has drawn global attention. Less noticed have been the cultural institutions and archaeological relics lost or ravaged during the conflict, including thousands of antiquities taken from Yemen’s museums.
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