The Hunt for the Benghazi Treasure

On May 25, 2011 the “Benghazi Treasure” was looted from a bank vault in Libya. The “treasure” had been returned to Libya from Italy in 1961. Although there was documentation of the items returned, no photographs were taken. Now, this is problematic because it will be difficult to prove provenance on items such as individual coins. It is suspected that up to 500 coins and other artifacts have been offered for sale on the Egyptian black market. Irina Bukova, Unesco director-general, expressed that the loss represented “one of the largest thefts of archaeological material in history.”


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