Libya’s antiquities department recovers and displays looted Roman antiquities

Arab Spring has not been too gentle to cultural heritage. Not surprising, some artifacts have been stolen in the aftermath of Libyan civil war. It has been reported by the new Libyan leaders that “Moammar Gadhafi’s forces tried to flee Tripoli with a sack of ancient Roman artifacts in hopes of selling them abroad to help fund their doomed fight. These objects were recovered and are currently on display.”

Apparently, the director of the state antiquities department, Saleh Algabe, hailed the find of 17 pieces, mostly small stone heads, as an important recovery of national treasures. These pieces were seized from a car on the road to Tripoli’s airport in August as forces were sweeping into the capital. A museum employee said the recovered objects had once been part of the institution’s collection.


It appears that most of Libya’s archaeological sites and museums were spared from damage during the recent civil war.



From report by Vanessa Gera, Associated Press.

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