By Watfa Shadi and Mustafa Bashar
This paper is a review of the threats to the cultural heritage of Syria, recently brought to the forefront of current
events because of the armed conflict happening there. We will discuss archeological sites designated as
UNESCO (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites and focus on the damage
done to Syria’s cultural heritage not only in the past, specifically during colonial times, when foreign
museums acquired so many artifacts of Syrian heritage, but that which continues to the present day. Sadly,
the pillaging of historical artifacts continues into present times, albeit with new and more efficient methods.
Current political instability in the country has considerably increased the incidence of looting, leaving the
cultural heritage in a very critical situation.