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German police are investigating the theft of Syrian antiquities

including a "Archaeological Rakeem" dating back thousands of years
Qanya Treasure stands out. Captured by the investigative reporter in early 2011, it adds to the list of lost treasures.

German police arrested a person in possession of a group of artifacts that disappeared from Syria years ago, including a cuneiform tablet (an ancient Archaeological Rakeem) that is thousands of years old.
Deutsche Welle (DW) reported that investigators in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg believe that the tablet (Archaeological Rakeem), inscribed with one of the oldest known writing systems from 2350-2250 BC, dates back to the ancient kingdom of Ebla, and may have been stolen from a museum in Idlib, Syria.
The man claimed that he had obtained the antique number from a party called the “Old Bavarian Collection” as an investment and for possible resale, and his claim was found to be false, according to what the police said.
Investigators said investigations revealed that the artifact may have been “illegally imported into Germany… after being stolen from the (National) Museum in Idlib, Syria, in 2015.”

4,000 Artifacts Missing: Islamic Factions Involved in Looting

In August 2024, Syria Indicator published an investigative report, entitled “Unmasking the Culprits” which showed that after Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and the Jaish al-Fatah factions took control of Idlib Governorate in mid-2015, artifacts were stolen from the Idlib Museum as a result of the holes made by aircraft missiles. Military in the building and warehouses.

Read the investigation: “Unmasking the Culprits

Islamic factions participated in looting artifacts from the museum after Syrian government officials emptied the museum’s most prominent collections and golden treasures on display, according to Dr. Ahmed Deeb, Director of Museum Affairs at the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, as mentioned in the Syrian Archaeological Heritage Report – Five Years of the Crisis 2011-2015. issued by the Ministry of Culture, stating that the Directorate of Museum Affairs took special measures to transfer large numbers of artifacts from museums at risk after the escalation of events in Syria to the city of Damascus.
According to an inventory conducted by the Idlib Antiquities Directorate of the museum’s assets, the number of registered pieces reached 7,500.

Syria Indicator’s Pursuit of Idlib’s Antiquity Thieves and Their Devastating Alliances

The number of remaining pieces that match the museum’s record today does not exceed three thousand pieces, and more than 4,000 artifacts have been lost, including jewelry, gold and silver coins, small statues found in Ebla, cylindrical or flat seals, and pottery from Ebla or from other archaeological sites such as Tell Al-Karkh. , Tell Al-Mastumah, Tell Denit, and Tell Efes, according to the inventory.
A former killing in “liwa’ altamkin” of the “Ahrar al-Sham” faction mentioned to Syria Indicator, the brigade’s participation in the theft of pottery tablets.
“Liwa’ altamkin” later displayed pictures of pottery figurines located in plastic cages in one of the headquarters of the “Jund al-Aqsa” armed faction in 2017, after controlling the headquarters, while these relics were present in one of the headquarters of “Ahrar al-Sham” near the town of Taftanaz in the Idlib countryside, according to the fighter. .
The Syria Indicator team was tracking the transportation of antiquities and their smuggling routes, by boycotting the narrative of antiquities dealers.
It turned out that the routes for smuggling small items through Syrian government areas are still open, and are specialized in specific merchants, and the cars of government security branches have been transformed into taxis to transport prohibited items and wanted persons.
One of the merchants mentioned that he transports his goods to the Lebanese border in a car bearing a security plate that does not stop at the military checkpoints spread on the roads. The merchant may transport 3 shipments per month, depending on the quantity of purchases, the quality of the goods, and the time specified by the Lebanese merchant for the goods to reach him.
The merchant stated that the “goods” leave Lebanon to the Gulf or European markets, and this depends on the type of piece. Islamic antiquities are in great demand in the Arabian Gulf markets, while European markets desire antiquities of the Old Testament, Roman, and Byzantine.
“The other way is through Turkey,” the merchant added, “and there are Syrian and foreign merchants in Turkey who ship collectibles to Europe or from Turkey to Lebanon as well for disposal. Before 2011, the stones of ancient buildings, crowns, decorations, and inscriptions were transported to Lebanon to build palaces.”

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