In the rubble, Aleppo’s citizens work to save battered heritage — Jordan Times Com |Aga Khan Development Network’s cultural arm is also looking at possible rehabilitation of the area

The Aga Khan Development Network’s cultural arm, which was behind a multimillion dollar restoration and urban development project around the Citadel and nearby souks a decade ago, said it was also looking at possible rehabilitation of the area.

A view shows a damaged dome of a mosque in the Old City of Aleppo, Syria, January 31 (Reuters photo)

ALEPPO, Syria — In the rubble-strewn square outside Aleppo’s ancient citadel and under the scorched vaults of its covered souk, workmen are starting to mend the destruction of a war that has shattered the Syrian city’s priceless historical heritage.

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About 30 per cent of the Old City suffered “catastrophic” damage in the fighting that ended there in December, said Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director general of antiquities.

Speaking to Reuters after his first visit to the city since the rebels were forced to surrender there, he said officials were working on a plan to save what they can.

The Aga Khan Development Network’s cultural arm, which was behind a multimillion dollar restoration and urban development project around the Citadel and nearby souks a decade ago, said it was also looking at possible rehabilitation of the area.

Aleppo is one of the Middle East’s great historic centres, its ancient Citadel and medieval mosques and souks among the region’s finest buildings and a source of national pride — and tourist revenue — for Syria.

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Both sides in the continuing war have accused each other of targeting or damaging historical sites, which range from ancient cities, temples, mosques and castles to the more recent relics of Ottoman rule.

“Everybody realises we are working in difficult circumstances,” said Ali Esmaiel, head of the Aga Khan Cultural Service in Syria, alluding to the fighting and other obstacles to saving Aleppo’s heritage.

However, he said the charity was looking at a framework for the rehabilitation of the Old City and conservation of its historic monuments “as conditions and resources allow”.

Read full on: The Jordan Times com

See also:  Videos on Aleppo and Syria by Aga Khan Development Network and the Aga Khan Museum

Revitalising the Citadels of Syria —  Video by  Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)

Aleppo: A City and Its Architecture — Video by Aga Khan Museum

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