The Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM)in Syria has issued a report with images showing recent damage to the structural integrity of the National Museum of Aleppo. One of the images shows what appears to be a an improvised artillery device made from a propane cylinder.
Known as a "hell cannon" these improvised explosives carry a range of approximately 1 mile/ 1.6 km depending on the payload it is firing and have been used by opposition forces during the Syrian conflict.
In October 2012 four car bombs were reported as having exploded near the museum, injuring some workers and curators. Those earlier explosions caused notable damage to the museum's infrastructure. During the explosion, windows were destroyed, as was the artificial roof, a lighting system and some of the showcases. At the time of the earlier incident, the museums collection was still housed within the museum.
In a February 2015 interview with the ICC- The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director General of the Directorate General of Antiquities & Museums reportedthat, as with other museums, the DGAM had emptied the National Museum of Aleppo, moving the artifacts for safekeeping.