On Thursday, a private Lebanese museum decided to return five Roman artefacts from Syria’s city Palmyra. These art pieces have been displayed in the museum since 2016.
The ancient city was massively destroyed during Syria’s decade long conflict. The war-torn city, Palmyra, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it contains the ruined monuments of the city, which were once an important part of the culture of Syria.
These pieces were handed over to the country during a “handover ceremony” hosted by the Lebanese National Museum. This ceremony was attended by the Culture Minister Muhammad Mortada, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Al Ali and the Directorate-General of Museums and Antiquities Nazir Awad.
While handing over their precious safe-keeping, Nazir Awad said that the Lebanese national museum had gladly returned the precious limestone statues, and the funerary stones from the second and third centuries AD to the Syrian authorities. This was done at the initiative of a private Lebanese collector.
One of the Syrian officials, Jawad Adra, described his “generous action” and said that he acquired the artefacts, in 2011, from European auction houses before the Syria war commenced. These were displayed at the Nabu Museum in North Lebanon.
He further added that now we have returned them to their original homeland, Syria.
Meanwhile, Ali Abdul Karim, Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, said that we are trying to arrange talks about the return of the other artefacts from the Lebanese National Museum to Syria.
Islamic State group, during the Syrian conflict, occupied the site of Palmyra, which was one of the important Syrian sites as it was the centre of the ancient artefacts. The Islamic Group destroyed several significant monuments, including the Arch of Triumph, as a furious action.
The ancient city has witnessed many vicious attacks, and the people of the city have been displayed for more than one time.