Footage filmed on Monday shows the extent of the damage inflicted on Apamea Museum, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of the Hama Governorate, after it was recaptured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from militants.
Head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Hama, Abdul-Qader Farzat, noted that the museum was a 16th century caravanserai that offered accommodation to “merchants and pilgrims” travelling to Mecca during the Ottoman era.
Apamea Museum has been considered one of the country’s most significant museums of mosaics, with many valuable mosaic murals collected from the region of Apamea. It also contains findings of the nearby archaeological site of Apamea.
The museum is believed to have been heavily looted and damaged after militants seized it and turned into their headquarters.
Farzat said that the museum underwent a “massive destruction” by militants, who he said attempted to demolish the museum’s columns and mosaic murals.
The head of Hama’s Antiquities and Museums Department also commended the efforts to restore the museum and preserve its contents, thanking local residents for “[helping] save many of the museums antiquities.”