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Yemen Calls on UNESCO to Save Architectural Treasures from Houthis

Yemen Calls on UNESCO to Save Architectural Treasures from Houthis

Wednesday, 28 March, 2018 - 12:15
People shop at the old market in the historic city of Sanaa, Yemen. Reuters

The Yemeni government responded Tuesday to the calls of the people and activists in the capital Sanaa and made an official appeal to UNESCO to intervene and save the Yemeni architectural treasures and cultural heritage from Houthi militias.

In an official statement, the Ministry of Culture denounced the "deliberate and systematic distortion and destruction campaigns" that have been carried out by Houthi militias against Yemen's historical monuments for more than three years, most recently was in Sanaa, where they destructed historic buildings.

Members of the Houthi group have recently carried out a systematic campaign to paint the facades of historical buildings in the old city registered in UNESCO's heritage cities, in the colors of the group’s sectarian slogans and distort its unique architectural style.

The government statement called on UNESCO to intervene to stop the militias’ destructing acts and "carry out its responsibility to guarantee and protect the heritage of the old city of Sanaa."

The statement called on the UN organization to "exert all possible pressure to stop Houthi militias destructing acts.

“The authentic and rare cultural heritage of Yemen has great artistic and historical value and represents a humanitarian and civilized significance for Yemen and for all humanity," the ministry said.

Many of the unique historical monuments, cultural heritage and architectural treasures are under the direct and repeated attacks by Houthis, which the ministry statement described as "the retarded obscurantist group."

It pointed out that the old city of Sanaa witnessed a deliberate destructive and defaming campaign by the Houthis as the militias used “the walls and houses of the old city to paint their slogans with dyes and colors, damaging the original colors of the houses and walls of the city, which is among the most important architectural features of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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