BORIS Theses

BORIS Theses
Bern Open Repository and Information System

Strategies for reconstructing and restructuring of museums in post-war places (National Museum of Aleppo as a Model)

Fakhro, Mohamad (2020). Strategies for reconstructing and restructuring of museums in post-war places (National Museum of Aleppo as a Model). (Thesis). Universität Bern, Bern

20fakhro_m.pdf - Thesis
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (17MB) | Preview


This research presents the status of Syrian museums during the conflict from destruction to protection efforts, with proposals for post-war reconstruction, focusing in particular on Aleppo national museum as a model. Since the situation of Syria after the war is yet unknown; therefore, it is uncertain which direction will be followed in rebuilding damaged museums in Syria. Whether there will be enough financial resources to build a new museum or to only use the current buildings and reconstruct them. This thesis aims to create strategies for reconstructing and restructuring of Aleppo national museum - so they are ready in case of any decision- in post-war times. The first chapter begins with the definition, importance of the museum and the history of the archaeological museums in Syria. In chapter 2, I described the status of Syrian museums during the conflict with a focus on museum damage such as shells, clashes damage, armed attack, looting, theft, and terrorism. In addition to presenting, the protection measures taken by the Directorate General of Antiquities & Museums, non-governmental organizations, and international efforts. At the end of this chapter, the damage to the houses of the archaeological missions has been explained. In chapter 3, I presented the National Museum of Aleppo as a model. This chapter begins by explaining the history of the museum and an overview of its contents before the war (sections, halls, gardens, and museum storages). In addition, the museum situation was presented during the conflict, risk types and threats, destruction and damage, protection measures (Documentation, transfer of removable objects, protection of the immovable objects and the difficulties in protection efforts). At the end of this chapter, the results of protection efforts during the conflict have been presented. Chapter 4, I focused on the future of the Aleppo Museum after the war. It begins to explain the importance of having strategies in reconstructing and restructuring. This chapter also is to take advantage of previous experience of the museums, which have a similar situation of neighbouring countries such as, Beirut museum, Iraqi museum of Baghdad, and the national museum of Afghanistan. Moreover, lessons to be learnt from the modern museums in Switzerland (Antikenmuseum Basel, museum Rietberg in Zurich and Bernisches Historisches Museum), and in other countries through its ongoing visit and interviews with its officials. In chapter 5, I presented the restructuring scenario in the same building. At first, I presented the previous errors committed at the national museum of Aleppo before the conflict. As well as, I made suggestions for the restructuring of human resources in the museum by analyzing the status of museum staff before and during the conflict, with an emphasis on the need to prepare a good team for the reconstruction phase such as museum Director, Directors of museum sections, technical sections, department of museum development, security and guarding. In this context, I explained some examples of activities conducted by the University of Bern and UNESCO for Syrian colleagues. In this chapter, proposals were made for a New Permanent Exhibition at the museum, where the chronological order will be preserved. Section of Prehistoric, Near Eastern Antiquities, Classical, Arab-Islamic, and Modern art. The halls have been redistributed from the prehistoric section to modern art. In addition, proposals were made to open new galleries in the museum, such as Aleppo museum during the war, achievements of the prehistoric humans in the Neolithic period in prehistoric section; Hall of Aleppo during the ages, Tell Umm el-Marra hall, and rescue excavations hall in Near Eastern Antiquities section, etc. Most of the museum collections were studied to provide the artefacts in the halls with the necessary explanations. In chapter 6, I presented a preliminary plan of a new Museum of Aleppo inspired by the plan of one of the historical buildings in Aleppo, as the second scenario in the reconstruction and restructuring phase. With a Suggestion of a parallel exhibition in the museum beside the permanent exhibition according to a thematical order. This would be more modern to show historical development and traditions throughout the periods. In chapter 7, I explained the relationship between the museum and the community with a focus on the importance of participation of all in the reconstruction and restructuring of the heritage after the war, where heritage facilities, such as museums, can be utilized to raise the public awareness of the importance and value of this heritage as well as to promote a community's ownership of this cultural heritage. Besides, I presented the museum as an educational centre because heritage education is a necessity and can be accomplished through museums, schools, and community projects. In the postwar period, it will be necessary to activate the educational role of the museum through various activities. For example, a radical change in museum exhibitions, in particular, the explanations, information, and the stories told by those artefacts; organize the relationship between the museum and the school; use of modern technologies; workshops and various activities; temporary exhibitions and museum publications. In chapter 8, the conclusions (Identify strategies), it contains a summary of the six strategies for reconstruction and restructuring of the National Museum of Aleppo as the results of this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis
Dissertation Type: Single
Date of Defense: 20 February 2020
Subjects: 900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
Institute / Center: 06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences
Depositing User: Hammer Igor
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 13:09
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 08:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item