Ruins of the Conflict - Preserving Syria’s Threatened Cultural Legacy

The exhibition “Preservation and Archiving in Times of War” is a current exhibition hosted by the Pergamon Museum, Berlin with the support of the Federal Foreign Office aiming at preserving the memory of what has been left as the result of the Syrian Civil War- and what remains

March 04th, 2019
Ekaterine Kolesnikova, News from Berlin
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Travelers from all over the world have always been attracted by the cultural landscapes and cultural diversity the country has to offer. It has been a perfect destination for people looking to explore and document Syria’s rich cultural heritage.

With the help of the photos, maps, films and reports made by a group of German and Syrian researchers, since 2013, a significant foundation for the reconstruction of this war-raged country had been created.

The exhibition in the Pergamon Museum is part of the Syrian Heritage Archive Project, an initiative launched by the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute and the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, that intends to provide a basis for the future creation of a national register of Syrian cultural heritage. The digitization of the database to create an archive is the main goal within the framework of the Project that has been funded from the Cultural Preservation Program of the Federal Foreign Office since 2013. This Archive Project ranges from old photos to archaeological research, where all the materials are systematically recorded and sorted.

Both the German Archaeological Institute and the Museum of the Islamic Art in Berlin are actively engaged in the process of a comprehensive digitization of older databases that is an essential aspect of the work, leading therefore to an operative integration to larger database projects.

The photographer, Issam Hajjar who currently resides in Berlin, has largely contributed to the “Syrian Heritage Archive Project” through his images with a particular emphasis on the Syrian urban life and archaeological sites, but also on a daily life in various provinces throughout Syria.

“The Syrian Heritage Archive Project” can be considered as the largest cultural project of that kind, since it tries to preserve the memory of the country that can no longer offer a secure place for its own population, with badly or completely destroyed cultural richness that undoubtedly makes part of the world cultural heritage.


News from Berlin