Yemen’s Seiyun Palace Facing Destruction

Amidst the humanitarian crisis in the country, Yemen's Seiyun Palace is now facing the risk of collapse due to years of neglect.

The Seiyun Palace in Yemen is one of the monumental mud-brick structures in the world and is one of Yemen’s famous heritage sites. However, the site has now become war-torn. With heavy rainfalls and years of neglect- the building is now facing the risk of collapse.

The Seiyun Palace was a large white building almost similar to a castle with round turrets on its corners. However, the deterioration of such a structure reflects Yemen’s downfall ever since 2014 and the takeover of the capital city, Sanaa, by the Houthi rebels.

Even though the Saudi government tried to intervene in support of the government in 2015, it has been catastrophic. Yemen has now entered a humanitarian crisis. Authorities and the Yemen government have failed to secure sufficient funds for the maintenance and reconstruction of such sites as the Seiyun Palace.
Moreover, the museum in the city of Seiyun in central Hadramawt province is also suffering from neglect.

The building is in terrible shape and is extremely vulnerable to threats of floods, earthquakes, etc. Abdullah Barmada, an engineer who specializes in the restoration of historical buildings, has appealed to save the Seiyun Palace from destruction.

He says, “It is dangerous and, if not quickly restored, it is at risk of collapsing, there is damage to the base of the structure, the walls, the roofs, and it needs to be fixed and then routinely maintained.”

Moreover, Yemen’s third city of Taiz, the newly restored National Museum, was at risk last month, with most parts of the former Ottoman palace reduced to rubble.

Yemen’s Seiyun Palace was first home to the sultan of the Khatris, who ruled much of the region from the 1500s till the 20th century. The palace opened to the public in 1984.

Hussein Aidarous, head of the department of antiquities and museums in Hadramawt, claimed that while the palace had undergone a lot of damage, it remained one of the few of its kind still standing. “This large building is considered one of the most important mud-brick buildings in Yemen and maybe even in the Arabian Peninsula,” he further said.

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