The prominent Syrian archeologist and art historian Dr. Afif Bahnassi has lost a long struggle with illness and passed away on Thursday at the age of 89, bringing an end to an incredible life full of contributions to plastic art, architecture, archeology , research, culture and other fields.
“Dr. Bahnassi is a famous archeologist and cultural figure who had remarkable role in maintaining Syria’s heritage and enhancing its international position over decades,” said Mahmoud Hammoud, Director General of Antiquities and Museums.
Dr. Kinan Bahnassi underlined his father’s continuous efforts and attempts to enlighten new generations of Syria, its history and civilization in the face of misleading media campaigns through republishing his works and books via social networking sites to be available for all.
The late Afif Bahnassi was born in Damascus in 1928. He got a License in Law from Damascus University in 1950. He studied History of Art at Ecole de Louvre in Paris and was granted a Doctorate in Modern Art in 1964 and State Doctorate and Ph.D in Islamic Art from Sorbonne University in Paris in 1978.
Dr. Bahnassi became the first Director of Fine Arts (1962 – 1971). Then, he was appointed the Director General of Antiquities and Museums (1971-1989). He was the founder of Fine Arts Department and a founding member of the Arab Writers Union. He has assumed his position as Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Damascus University since 1959. He was awarded 13 orders and honorary certificates inside Syria and abroad.
His books include: “Contemporary art and artistic life in Syria”, “Islamic Art”, “IBLA Archives”, “Aesthetics” and “Dictionary of Art and Architecture and many others.