The Raqqa Museum is one of many cultural and historic sites that were targeted during the war in Syria. Established in 1861 under Ottoman rule, the site was used as a military base by occupying French forces, and was converted into a museum in the 1980s. Around 8,900 historical artifacts were displayed there.
When ISIS took over Raqqa in 2013, the museum suffered heavy damage. Many pieces were destroyed entirely by the terror group, and the museum’s walls were barely left standing when the city was liberated.
Efforts to restore the museum began soon after Raqqa was liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces in late 2017. Now, after concentrated efforts by the Culture and Art Committee of the Raqqa Civil Council, it has once again opened its doors to the public.
Mihemed İzo, an expert in historical artifacts, stated that: “Too much damage was inflicted on the pieces in the museum. There are some artifacts from 1,000 years ago here that need to be restored. These artifacts are the memories of the people here. The Culture and Art Committee of the Raqqa Civil Council is working hard to rebuild the museum and protect the artifacts that are in here.”