No photos allowed inside the National Museum in Damascus

It seems that the Syrian National Museum in Damascus does not / did not allow photography inside the building.  Not that it got many tourists, thanks to the grim reputation of the Assad regime in the old days, but those who did turn up were prevented from photographing, or rather recording, the contents.

That doesn’t seem like a satisfactory policy now, does it?  If ISIS capture the city, all that material will be gone for good, except for those pieces that they can sell on the art market.

If some people have their way, the art market for Syrian pieces will be shut down, in order to prevent ISIS raising money thereby.  But won’t that merely guarantee 100% destruction rate?  I rather doubt the evidently well-funded and foreign-backed ISIS gunmen will be deterred by the loss of a few art sales, however.

So what was the justification for not recording the museum contents?  To sell a few miserable postcards?  I fear so.


3 thoughts on “No photos allowed inside the National Museum in Damascus

  1. There was a rather detailed catalogue (about 150 pages of French) when I was there in 1972 – I have a copy somewhere. Lots of wonderful Roman-period glass and of course the wall-paintings from the Dura-Europus synagogue.

  2. That’s very interesting. I’d be most interested in a copy of the pages that mention Mithras, if you should happen to find the item! Hang on to it – I doubt that many copies exist.

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