Yemen’s looted antiquities for sale at Europe’s auctions

Since the beginning of the Saudi-Emirati aggression on Yemen, Yemeni archaeological and historical sites have been subjected to systematic bombing and destruction by the Saudi-led coalition of aggression, whether in the capital, Sanaa, or the rest of the other cities. The aggressors in the occupied governorates changed historical landmarks and geography. The UAE claimed that Socotra island goes back to it, and the Socotra dragon tree, which is found only on this Yemeni island, and listed on the World Heritage List, were stolen from this island. Also, birds, rare plants, stones, beaches and soil were also stolen from this island.


Yemeni antiquities looted

The Saudi-Emirati aggression against Yemen was not only a military based aggression, but also an agression with many faces. Since declaring war on Yemen, the Saudi coalition has deliberately targeted, directly, cultural monuments that preserve memory and protect heritage. What is new, today, is that a Yemeni artifact is offered for sale at an auction in Germany. Seven years after the war of the Saudi coalition against Yemen, Yemeni museums today suffer from the effects of the coalition’s crime, and their tools on the ground, as they have been subjected to acts of destruction, looting, theft and smuggling abroad.

The international Yemeni writer, Ali Al-Maqri, revealed in a Facebook post, a few days ago, saying that “one of the auction houses in Germany offered a Yemeni artifact for sale in an auction to be held next month.” A;-Maqri noted that the artifact represents a beautiful Sabaean woman from the third century BC, being offered for sale at an auction in Germany next July 12, calling on those interested in Yemeni history to hurry to enter the auction and recover the beautiful historical piece.

“This is not the time, and it will not be the last, in which Yemeni antiquities are displayed in European auctions, which are smuggled from Yemen through theft and smuggling of antiquities,” According to the Yemeni novelist, noting that “the process needs institutions that follow up on the sources of smuggling and theft of antiquities, so that there is legal accountability.”

Smuggling Artifacts

The countries of aggression against Yemen moved their tools and agents inside Yemen, who are paid by them, to smuggle antiquities of various kinds and sell them through an organized mafia created by the countries of aggression for this purpose. Also, the smugglers, due to the Saudi aggression on the country, did not find much difficulty in the smuggling process, as the aggressors facilitated sumggling routes thorugh Yemeni air, land and sea ports.

There are many smuggling operations and the production of antiques, swords, daggers, and archaeological manuscripts without are being sumggled without being intercepted, except for a few of those operations that were discovered, which are considered individual operations, as these smugglers exploit situations of lawlessness and chaos that the aggression wants Yemen to live in. According to an investigation, published by “Life Science” and translated by “Al-Mahra Post”, about 100 Yemeni artifacts have been smuggled from Yemen since the year 2021, most of which were sold in both the UAE and the United States of America.

The Saudi coalition destroyed 80% of Yemen’s antiquities

Within the framework of the systematic destruction of Yemen, reports revealed that the Saudi-Emirati coalition forces targeted cultural, tourist and historical monuments in Yemen, in violation of the standards of international humanitarian law. The reports revelaed some of those attacks. Through what was documented, it was found that the widespread destruction of Yemeni cultural property is a clear violation of the protection provided by the laws of war, and that archaeological sites were not protected in accordance with the standards of international humanitarian law.

In this context, the war crimes that targeted archaeological, tourist and religious sites in Yemen did not stop at the direct targeting and destruction of about 80% of the antiquities, but also caused their “damage due to the siege and war conditions that did not allow those concerned to provide the appropriate care and environment to preserve these civilized and cultural treasures.” Therefore, future generations lost the opportunity to see them. Many of the artifacts have been stolen, robbed and smuggled, especially towards Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, which are trying with everything they have to destroy Yemen and all aspects of civilization and life in it.

In conclusion, it can be said that the countries that launched their unjust aggression, in March of the year 2015, against Yemen, land, history and people, realized from the first day that their war with those people is a lose, despite the logistical support and international cover that great imperialist countries added to this war. The countries of the coalition of aggression intensified their aggressive attacks, from which no area in Yemen was spared, including the governorates that the aggression claimed to have liberated. In addition, monuments, castles, such as the Cairo Castle in Taiz. Also, historical cities were targeted by the aggression, such as the city of Sana’a and the ancient city of Zabid. In regard to Yemen’s Socotra island, the The UAE has been tampering with the natural environment of the island, attempting to transfer the dragon tree and other plants that characterize Socotra to the Emirates, It also even attempted to transfer the soil, as some videos on social media have shown.

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