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Damascus National Museum Reopens Doors

Syrian authorities have reopened part of the National Museum in Damascus to the public, more than six years after it was shut down amid the country’s civil war.

Culture Minister Mohamed al-Ahmad said the October 28 reopening of the world-renowned antiquities museum sent "a message of security and safety" for the conflict-wracked country.

The museum closed in 2012 to protect its ancient artifacts from damage, and most of the collection was evacuated and kept at secret locations.

The decision to reopen part of the museum comes as the Syrian government maintains normality is returning to the country.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces secured Damascus earlier this year, but fighting has continued in some areas of the country.

Russia and Iran have given Assad crucial support throughout the 7 1/2-year war in Syria, which began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

The conflict has left more than 400,000 people dead, displaced millions, and devastated many historic sites across the country.

Based on reporting by the BBC, Reuters, AP, and AFP