In recent decades, Syria has been the site of vigorous internationally sponsored preservation efforts. In 1972, the Newark Museum set a world precedent by returning to Syria a mosaic that was discovered to have been stolen from Apamea. Shayzar Castle and Aleppo Citadel have been the beneficiaries of a long-term joint preservation partnership among the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the World Monuments Fund, and the Syrian government. Coinciding with this work was the exciting discovery in the late 1990s, by a German-Syrian archaeological team, of the 5,000-year-old Temple of the Storm God, containing a magnificent monumental frieze from the time of the Hittites, within the Aleppo Citadel. Conservation of this temple was well underway when work was forced to stop last year. The site was covered hastily with sandbags, but damage to the temple, should it occur, would be irreversible. As things stand today, anything could happen.
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