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Syria displays artifacts retrieved from rebel-held areas

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An exhibition in Syria’s capital of hundreds of artifacts includes many that museum officials say were retrieved from rebel-held areas amid recent gains by the military.

Those on display Monday at the Opera House are just some of the roughly 20,000 pieces that officials estimate have been recovered since the country’s war began in 2011.

Syria’s conflict has proved particularly dangerous for the country’s archaeological heritage. Some artifacts were destroyed by the Islamic State group. Others have been looted, pillaged or illegally trafficked.

Qassim Mohammed, assistant secretary at the national museum, said Monday that Syria still has a long way to go in recovering its historical heritage.

An unknown number of artifacts have been smuggled abroad and sold.

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