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Syria's National Museum of Damascus opened its rich trove of antiquities to visitors again Sunday, seven years after war forced it to close and months after the government recaptured all rebel areas near the capital.The Damascus museum, founded in 1920, was closed one year into the civil war as the then-national head of antiquities took action to protect its artifacts from rebel rocket fire or shelling.All warring sides have been accused of looting artifacts during the conflict, from both major archeological sites and the country's museums. The most famous include the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO-listed heritage site overrun by Daesh (ISIS) until the Russia-backed army retook it last year.The Syrian army and its allies found and salvaged more than 9,000 artifacts as they retook cities and archaeological sites from rebels and extremists, according to antiquities chief Mahmoud Hammoud.The collection of the Deir al-Zor museum, isolated by fighting, was airlifted to Damascus.
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