Heritage at risk in Yemen

Yemen

In February 2015, a violent conflict erupted in Yemen causing terrible human suffering and loss of life.Yemeni Cultural heritage sites are heavily affected, mostly through collateral damage. However, the intentional destruction of ancient tombs was reported to have occurred, for the first time, in Hadramout, in July 2015. All three cultural World Heritage properties (Old Walled City of Shibam, Old City of Sana’a, Historic Town of Zabid) are now inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Sana’a and the historic centre of Saa’da were hit by shelling and gravely damaged.

Many other sites, some of which figure on Yemen’s World Heritage Tentative List, have similarly suffered damage, including the Citadel of Taez, the archaeological site of the pre-Islamic walled city of Baraqish, the archaeological sites of Marib from the end of 2nd millennium B.C., and the Great Dam of Marib, a marvel of technical engineering. Movable heritage has also suffered severe losses, as in the case of the Dhamar Museum, which used to host a collection of 12,500 artefacts, and was completely destroyed in May 2015.

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