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Idlib antiquities museum reopens after 5 years

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Idlib antiquities museum reopens after 5 years

Idlib's antiquities museum
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AFP
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Amid the destruction, a small oasis is reborn.

Five years after closing its doors, the antiquities museum in the Syrian city of Idlib is open to the public once again.

Air strikes and looting during Syria's ongoing civil war have depleted its collection. It includes clay tablets dating back to the invention of the first alphabet.

But many ancient treasures have survived.

Ayman al-Nabo is Head of Antiquities for the city of Idlib:

"We want to create a center of research and scientific studies for people interested in history and archeology. It's also important for us to organize visits for the entire generation of students who could not visit archaeological sites because of war, destruction and fear."

Syria's rich cultural heritage dates back to Roman, Assyrian and Byzantine eras - but much has been destroyed by fighting - including the World Heritage site of Palmyra.

Idlib's curators are now urging the UN cultural organization UNESCO to act quickly to protect what's left.