Emergency “Red List” of Endangered Syrian Artifacts Released, Includes Sculptures, Coins

Posted on September 26, 2013


ICOM (International Council of Museums) officials worked remotely to create a “Red List” of artifacts endangered by the current conflict in Syria. This Red List will be disseminated to law enforcement agencies, museums, and artifact dealers worldwide, in an attempt to prevent their illicit trade and/or destruction.

The Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk explains that there are a number of national and international laws protecting the national heritage of Syria, including a half dozen or so national laws, in addition to the 1954 Hague Convention, the 1970 Unesco Convention (on the illicit trade in cultural objects), and the 1972 Unesco Convention (Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage).

The Red List does not list actual stolen objects, rather categories of cultural goods protected by legislation and vulnerable to illicit traffic. On the Syrian Red List, objects originate from Prehistory (10,000 BC) through the Ottoman period (ending in 1918). Select excerpts from the Red List are reproduced below, but the entire list can be downloaded here.

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