Shut for over 6 years, Syria's national museum reopens

October 28, 2018 - 6:14 am

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian officials have reopened the country's National Museum in Damascus more than six years after the prominent institution was shut down and emptied as the country's civil war encroached on the capital.

Syria's Culture Minister Mohamed al-Ahmad told reporters Sunday that the reopening sends a "genuine message" that Syria's heritage has not been affected by "terrorism."

Among the antiquities on display are murals from the 2nd century Dura-Europos in Syria's east, textiles from central Palymra and statues of the Greek goddess of victory from the south.

Syria's conflict, raging since early 2011, has been detrimental for the country's rich heritage.

Authorities shut down museums and safely stored away over 300,000 artifacts, but some sites were still destroyed by the Islamic State group, damaged by the fighting or looted.