Penn Museum Experts Help Preserve Syrian Artifacts
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The violence in Syria is taking its toll on the cultural identity of the war torn country, which is losing its historical artifacts at an unprecedented rate.
A group of experts from Penn Museum and the Smithsonian traveled to that part of the world to lend a helping hand.
Many ancient mosques, temples, tombs, and other significant locations in the most heavily affected areas of Syria have seen severe damage during the nearly four years of conflict.
“It’s not about protecting everything because that simply is impossible. These are war zones, these are very difficult situations,” said Brian Daniels from Penn Museum’s Cultural Heritage Center.
He’s part of a group of American experts who traveled to a location outside of Syria last month to teach the Syrian heritage workers how to protect some of their most precious artifacts that are too big to move.
“They have to be sheltered in place,” he said. “We talked about how you would crate, protect, and the types of structures you needed to be able to protect it.”
Bombings, gunfire and looting are also taking their toll. The three-day workshop was titled, “Emergency Care for Syrian Museum Collections.” The workshop was provided for about 20 heritage workers.
Daniels predicts Penn’s services will be needed in other conflict torn countries, so they are working on future programs.