Prague, May 15 (CTK) – The National Museum (NM) in Prague will join the restoration of archaeological and ancient artefacts in Syria, where the war causes the suffering of people as well as the destruction to cultural heritage, and so it will help save world history treasures, NM director Michal Lukes said on Monday.
He and Syria’s director-general of antiquities Maamoun Abdul Karim, signed a declaration to this effect on Monday.
The NM cooperates with the Czech foreign affairs and culture ministers in providing the aid, which is part of the development and humanitarian assistance programme for Syria the Czech government approved last year.
The programme includes several fields, from humanitarian aid to supplies of medical materiel, to the salvation of UNESCO-listed sites, which are being destroyed not only by war, but also for ideological reasons, and others.
Lukes said in the first stage, the Czech Republic will supply conservation material and help restore and deposit archaeological artefacts, assist in the conservation of historical items in Czech workshops and train Syrian experts in this field as well as digitisation of cultural heritage.
During his visit to Syria last autumn, Lukes was interested in the current situation in care of cultural heritage in the country.
The declaration signed on Monday also provides for participation in joint projects including consultations, seminars and conferences focused on archaeology, museums, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage as well as exhibitions on the theme.
In October, Prague will stage a photographic exhibition on destroyed cultural heritage in Syria.
The NM has cooperated in similar projects in other countries, including Sudan, Afghanistan and Algeria.
Since 2009, it has had a permanent archaeological expedition in Sudan that uncovered significant architectonic heritage and artefacts.
The NM has organised an exhibition on saved Buddhism treasures in Afghanistan, which featured unique items from the Afghanistan National Museum.
The loaned items were conserved, restored and studied in the NM’s workshops.