Thursday, May 28, 2015

US Supported Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen destroys regional archaeological museum

I received this notice from the Agade list serve and thought it was worthwhile to reproduce, about the human and historical consequences of the current war in Yemen. The US is supporting the Saudis in their campaign against the Shia Houthis. This is from the Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues blog, written by Paul Barford, who is a British archaeologist "living and working in Warsaw."

Dhamar, Yemen Museum Destroyed


The Dhamar Regional Museum in Yemen, the main museum of the Dhamar governorate, has been destroyed in a Saudi airstrike last Thursday. The Museum, built in 2002, is the repository of all work done in the province. Together with the building, it is not clear how much of the collection of pre-Islamic antiquities, including a number of dedicatory stelae and also the material produced by the Chicago Oriental Institute's work from 1978 onwards (see here too) have been lost. Some of the museum's artefacts were recently digitalised by CASIS an EU-funded project.
Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen in the last 62 days to bring its ally, fugitive president Mansour Hadi, back to power. The airstrikes have killed, at least, 3,912 Yemenis, according to FNA's independent tally. According to a recent report by Freedom House Foundation, most of the victims of the deadly Al Saud campaign are civilians, including a large number of women and children. Thousands of residential buildings have been destroyed, and hundreds of civil and public facilities were reduced to rubble as a result of the bombardments by Saudi warplanes on the Yemeni cities and towns, the group said.
The city of Dahmar, 100 km to the south of Sana'a, was one of the famous Arabic and Islamic culture and scientific centres in Yemen. 

We decry the many atrocities committed by Da'esh - massacres of Yezidis, Christians, Shiites and others in Syria and Iraq, their enslavement of Yezidis and Christians, taking women as sex slaves, and their destruction of antiquities that are part of the historical heritage of all humanity - but our supposed allies are bombing in Yemen in such a way as to kill many civilians, destroy residential buildings, and now also destroy antiquities.

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