Red list prepared for Syrian artifacts
ISTANBULThe Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry has sent an Emergency Red List to all museums, collectors and customs gates to prevent the perception that historical artifacts that have been stolen from Syria are being smuggled via Turkey.
Many articles have appeared in the Western media suggesting that the stolen artifacts were sold via Turkey amid reports that the artifacts were marketed in the southeastern province of Gaziantep and that Turkey has closed its eyes to the situation.
The Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk, prepared by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in English, French, German and Arabic, has been translated into Turkish by the ministry.
The artifacts on the list were not those stolen from Syria. But it is now known how many artifacts were stolen from the ancient cities that have been destroyed and looted by carious groups.
ICOM has made the red list for the protection of the cultural artifacts of countries in which armed conflicts occur. The list is important especially for customs gates, museums, collectors, auction houses, art dealers and security forces since it raises awareness by providing information about the legislation of preservation of cultural artifacts under risk.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry made a statement on its website about the list, saying the Turkish version of the list served as an answer to unfair criticisms against the country.
The list includes many artifacts dating from the furthest reaches of antiquity, such as ceramics and bronze tablets, handwritten parchments, books, wooden, gold and silver sculptures, earthenware figures, amphora from the Hellenistic era, coins, seals and other artifacts.