Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Fans and players react online to Arsene Wegner's club departure

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Syria alleged chemical attack: Gunfire delays deployment of weapons inspectors

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Cashing in on local French currencies

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Life on the canals of northern France

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

What lies ahead for Cuba after the Castros?

Read more

#TECH 24

Discovering and harnessing the power of the sun

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Can France bid 'adieu' to popular weedkiller glyphosate?

Read more

#THE 51%

Harmful for your health: When gender bias affects medical diagnosis

Read more

REPORTERS

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2015-05-04

Syria: On the trail of looted antiquities

As the war in Syria enters its fifth year, the trafficking of looted antiquities is adding a new dimension to the tragic conflict. Many Syrian artefacts are smuggled across the border into Turkey and sold to international collectors. Our reporters went to Syria and Turkey to investigate the trade in these stolen treasures. They met members of the looted antiquities underworld, who agreed to speak on camera, albeit often anonymously.

Despite UNESCO sounding the alarm over the export of looted Syrian antiquities for the past three years, the illegal trade continues. FRANCE 24's reporters went to Syria to meet the people involved in these international trafficking rings.

Unemployed Syrians dig the earth in search of ancient buried treasures: coins from the Roman era, oil lamps, gold statues or other ceramic artefacts sometimes dating back more than 3,000 years. Their value can be priceless.

After making contact with traffickers in Turkey, they then have to cross the border illegally to deliver their merchandise and pocket a few dollars.

In Turkey, highly organised traffickers can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from smuggling these antiquities and selling them abroad, and often online. They are just a few of those who benefit from Syria’s cultural heritage being plundered.

By Chris HUBY , Hédi AOUIDJ , Jalal AL ALEPI

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-04-20 Africa

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Every year, China slaughters millions of donkeys to make Ejiao, a traditional medicine hailed as a ‘miracle elixir’ which is used to treat various ailments. As China’s donkey...

Read more

2018-04-13 Americas

From Brazil to Canada: the new odyssey for African migrants

Canada has become the new El Dorado for many African migrants, who have seen Europe and the United States close their borders. But they face a dangerous journey across South and...

Read more

2018-04-06 Africa

Video: Mauritanian Sahara delights tourists again after years blighted by terror

After years blighted by terror attacks, tourists are beginning to return to Mauritania. Charter flights between Paris and the Mauritanian Sahara resumed in December 2017....

Read more

2018-03-30 Middle East

Video: Fighting for survival in war-torn Yemen

Since 2015, Yemen has been locked in a civil war in which Saudi Arabia – a supporter of Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi-- has led a Sunni coalition against Houthi...

Read more

2018-03-23 terrorism

Inside the Kurdish courts trying IS group militants

The long and gruesome war that the Kurds have waged against the Islamic State (IS) group has not only left thousands dead but also produced many prisoners. For the first time, a...

Read more