NTERPOL resources: stolen Syrian artifacts smuggled to Lebanon According to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), some artifacts on display for sale by antiquities dealers in Lebanon are believed to have been stolen from Syrian archaeological sites, among of which is Palmyra archaeological site. The INTERPOL has provided the DGAM with a data record and photos of these artifacts, which are mainly busts of various shapes dating back to the second century A.D., for which art in Palmyra was renowned, which asserts their Syrian identity, in addition to other pieces, that might have been stolen from other sites, and which include crowns of Roman columns (the 2nd century) and a set of glass and stone pieces which date back to the Roman era (between the 2nd and 3rd centuries) as well as coins belonging to the early Islamic period (between the 7th and 11th centuries).
Moreover, experts from the DGAM will examine these pieces in order to verify their authenticity and to reveal their historic value because of the increasing acts of forgery of antiquities lately and the spread of fake pieces sold as genuine in the markets of the neighboring countries. Thus, the DGAM will take all necessary measures to return these artifacts officially even if they were fake ones. In addition, The DGAM has mentioned in its reports that some Syrian archaeological sites have been subject to illegal excavation and looting, the most deteriorating of which are taking place at Mari and Doura Europos as well as some other sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in northern Syria within the Forgotten Cities in Idlib. Besides, some burial grounds in the region of Palmyra suffered from secret and illegal digs in the past, where these artifacts, if proven authentic, might have been stolen from. Therefore, the DGAM calls on the Lebanese authorities (customs and Lebanese INTERPOL) to collaborate in the restitution of this Syrian property and to do their best to control the borders and to prohibit illicit trafficking of our antiquities on their land. (DGAMS source + LBCI News).