Yemen: Al Houthis accused of ‘systematic’ ruin of antiquities

Cairo: The Yemeni government has accused Iran-aligned Al Houthis of “systematic destruction” of the country’s antiquities and looting its historical manuscripts.

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Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Al Eryani said that the rebels have pillaged, smuggled and illegally sold artifacts, detonated archaeological sites and turned them into military facilities over recent years.

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He added that Al Houthi leaders have smuggled thousands of artifacts and antique manuscripts looted from museums and archaeological places to outside the country.

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The accusations were made by the official at a virtual culture meeting on Yemen co-organised by the UNESCO and the European Union.

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Extreme concern

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“I expressed extreme concern over Al Houthi militia’s marginalisation and removal of technical and administrative staff at the Manuscripts Archives and allowing illegal and non-official sides to tamper with contents of the archives,” Al Eryani said in a series of tweets.

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The official launched a call for international organisations and donors to help support culture in war-devastated Yemen.

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Al Houthis plunged Yemen into a destructive war after they toppled the legitimate government and overran parts of the impoverished country including the capital Sana’a in late 2014.

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