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18 ancient mosaics depicting The Odyssey stolen in Syria

Published on Feb 17, 2013 9:59 PM

DAMASCUS (AFP) - At least 18 ancient mosaics depicting scenes from Homer's The Odyssey have been stolen in northern Syria, the culture minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

"These mosaics were stolen during illegal excavations" on archaeological sites in the war-torn country's north-east, Ms Lubana Mushaweh said in an interview published on Sunday by the government daily Tishreen.

"We have been informed that these mosaics are now on the Syrian-Lebanese border," she said without elaborating.

As the nearly two-year Syrian revolt has morphed into an armed insurgency, experts say fierce fighting and deteriorating security have left the country's extraordinary archaeological heritage susceptible to damage and prey to a rising number of looters.

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