Our duty to maintainYemeni antiquities need attention [Archives:2005/826/Culture]

March 21 2005

Yemen is one of richest countries in the Arab region in terms of the possession of structures, as the Yemeni Library has thousands of writings which reflect the glory of Yemen's past. Such writings are considered a real wealth for archeologists and are characterized by their diverse contents that deal with different sciences and arts.

Without these rare writings and antiquities, the civilization of Sbeba, Himier, Qataban and many other states would no longer be explored.

After such antiquities proved able to tell us about the ancient Yemeni civilizations, they became subjected to plundering and trafficking with the malicious aim to deny Yemen its history and glory. The phenomenon of trafficking Yemen's antiquities has been known for many years.

Over the last few days, the National Museum received two antiquities after they were seized in Britain. The smuggling of antiques out of Yemen can be attributed to various factors, and great deal of scriptures is still in the hands of citizens who usually sell them to foreigners and businessmen with high prices

Antiquities and old writings are never taken to the concerned bodies in the government in spite of the fact that a department for maintaining scriptures was established in 1980.

It was to achieve five main goals, such as colleting and maintaining the Arab heritage for researchers of different scientific levels and appointing a well -trained cadre to repair and bind writings.

Foreign researchers and scholars mentioned that the Yemeni writings number up to around one million, and they are scattered in different libraries and mosques all over Yemen.

Large numbers of these writings are in the hands of some individuals in and outside the country; there is no exact number because of the lack of accurate statistics and the halting of a writing-survey project that started in 1998.

In the Scriptures House, there are around 4,047 volumes of different arts and realms of knowledge as well as rare versions of the Holy Qura'an.

However, regretfully, these scriptures have been ever subjected to ongoing conspiracies of trafficking. The scriptures are seen smuggled across lands, sea and air by organized gangs.

Nowadays, maintaining scriptures has become the duty of everyone. However the former class is more accountable to set firm legal procedures and preventive measures because maintaining scriptures means maintaining the antique history of Yemen.