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Vandalism targets Jerash’s ancient column

DoA to launch awareness-raising campaign

By Rayya Al Muheisen - May 08,2022 - Last updated at May 08,2022

A view of a column defaced with graffiti is seen in the ancient Greco-Roman city of Jerash, some 48km north of Amman (Photo courtesy of Fadi Bal’awi)

AMMAN —  A national campaign is set to launch in order to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving historical sites in the Kingdom, according to the Department of Antiquities (DoA) at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The move comes after a recent vandalism incident that targeted one of Jerash’s ancient columns with graffiti.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident, said Director of the DoA Fadi Bal’awi told The Jordan Times.

He said that the graffiti has been temporarily covered and the department will restore the column to their original look with the aid of professionals.

“The campaign will focus on the religious, archaeological, historical and economic importance of archaeological sites in Jordan,” Bal’awi stated. 

He stressed that these monuments are part of the Jordanian identity and its rich history, and preserving historical sites is “a national duty”. 

The campaign will outreach all Jordanians; it also serves to engage Jordanians in actively protecting their cultural heritage, he said.

Meanwhile, the act of vandalism at the Jerash historical site drew negative reactions among social media users. 

Abeer Musa, a Jordanian, on her social media profile said that she doesn’t see the reason behind the assaulter’s action. The assaulter should get the harshest penalties possible, she said. 

Inah Garcia, a tourist from the Philippines, told The Jordan Times that Jordan is globally well known for its protected historical sites. 

“Historical sites offer visitors the chance to step back in time”, Garcia added. 

“Jordan’s historical sites represent the many overlapping layers of civilization”, Garcia concluded.

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