Other ancient treasures in Yemen's cultural capital of Taiz have been obliterated by shelling during the four year siege of the city

Taiz military police catch smuggling gang with 700-year-old antiquities from Rasulid dynasty

Taiz Military police and local security service agencies announced on Sunday the arrest of a smuggling gang at Al-Hangar checkpoint at the southwest entrance to Taiz City as they were attempting to steal manuscripts and antiquities from the governorate’s national museum to sell on the black market.

Military Police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammed Salem Al-Khawlani handed over the stolen manuscripts and antiquities to Ramzi Al-Dumaini, director general of museums in Taiz.  

"The antiquities and manuscripts found are estimated to be 700 years old in terms of the form of the calligraphy and the production date, going back to the Rasulid dynasty and giving us a glimpse of the historical city of Taiz," said Abdul Hadi Al-Az’azi, deputy assistant to the culture minister.

As Yemen’s cultural capital, Taiz is known for its extraordinarily rich heritage that includes ancient mosques, madrassas and castles built during the reign of the Rasulid Sultans between 1229 and 1454. Many of Taiz’s ancient treasures, including those in the Taiz National Museum, have been obliterated by Houthi shelling during a four year siege by the rebels. The museum houses items belonging to the last Yemeni Imam, as well as 1,000-year-old manuscripts and copies of the Koran. Taiz has been besieged by the Houthis for years.

Other officials present at the handover of the manuscripts and antiquities included Director of Antiquities Ahmed Jassar, Taiz military axis command chief of staff Brig. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Majidi, head of the military intelligence division Col. Abdo Al-Behairi and Military Police chief of staff Colonel Adel Rabash.



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