The National Museum of Aleppo hosts since 1938 the largest collection of monumental statues, artefacts and inscriptions dated to the preclassical period (7000 – 300 BC) and found in archaeological excavations, construction sites and from rescue operations in whole Syria. Current building erected at the end of the sixties has been until 2011 not only an important tourist attraction but also a focal meeting point for the local community and those working on the cultural heritage of the Aleppo region. Although not directly bombed, the museum suffered damage caused by shelling and gunfire, by the flooding of the basement and explosion of the windows with consequent exposure of the statues to the elements and the action of animals.
The Italian mission at the National Museum in Aleppo aims to study, restore and re-exhibit the archaeological collection, particularly the monumental statues still kept in the National Museum in Aleppo that were damaged during the Syrian War and the Aleppo battle. The project has a scientific purpose (stone analyses, iconographic and contextual research), (restoration and exhibit) and professional training for local experts on archaeological heritage management and stone restoration.
After the earthquake on February 2023, the project prioritizes actions such as the evaluation of the damage, and secure the building, ensure an electricity and water supply, and relocate damaged items in order to also provide shelter for the local community.