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Czech National Museum to aid Syrian restorers

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Prague, Oct 20 (CTK) – The National Museum (NM) seated in Prague will help preserve and store Syrian heritage and train Syrian experts, in cooperation with the Czech foreign and culture ministries, NM spokeswoman Lucie Broncova told CTK on Thursday.

The NM joined a programme of Czech development and humanitarian aid in Syria that the Czech government approved in June.

NM director Michal Lukes visited Syria last week and discussed the details of the cooperation with Syrian Director-General for Antiquities and Museums Maamoun Abdulkarim.

“I had an opportunity to see that common people, whole families, children suffer the most due to the war. apart from human suffering, it is sad to see the deliberately destroyed historic sights that are part of the world cultural heritage and many of which are UNESCO-listed,” Lukes said.

The civil war in Syria has been going on for five and a half years now.

In the first stage of the aid, the NM will deliver material for preservation, restoration and storage of archaeological artifacts.

NM restoration workshops may conserve and restore historical items from Syria and Syrian experts may be trained in restoration and documentation of the heritage.

Next year, a photo exhibition presenting the destroyed cultural heritage in Syria will be held in Prague. In 2019, unique historical and archaeological items from Syria will be exhibited in the Czech Republic.

The NM has already started similar cooperation in Afghanistan, Algeria and Sudan.

A Czech archaeological expedition has been operating in Sudan since 2009. It has revealed precious relics.

The NM organised an exhibition on Buddhist heritage from Afghanistan.

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