Published on 30 May 2014

UNESCO Director-General calls for the protection of all religious heritage in Syria, after the destruction of historical synagogue in Damascus

The UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, has learnt with dismay of the destruction of the historical synagogue of Eliyahu Hanabi in Damascus.

“The destruction of the oldest synagogue in Syria is a new blow against its religious and cultural heritage, which has already suffered tremendous damage.

All layers of Syria’s rich culture, including religious heritage, must be protected”, declared the Director-General, referring in particular to the fact that Syria is host to highly significant monuments of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.

“This synagogue bears witness to the cultural diversity of Syria’s history and to the potential of peaceful coexistence among all communities in the country”.

“I reiterate my call on all parties to halt immediately the destruction of Syrian heritage, to save Syria’s rich social mosaic and cultural fabric, including the religious heritage of all confessions.”