Monday, February 28, 2011

The Uncertain State of Libya's Archaeological Treasures

Libya boasts five UNESCO World Heritage sites with well-preserved Greek, Punic, and Roman architecture. See

What reports there are suggest they remain undisturbed for now. See However, one has to wonder about their fate, particularly if the Qaddafi regime holds on for an extended period of time.

When Libya was an Italian colony, Mussolini lavished money on archaeology; excavations at Roman sites helped buttress his regime's claim to be the heir of ancient Rome. In reaction, Qaddafi largely ignored Libya's ancient past, labeling it as colonialist. Although there have been recent efforts to rehabilitate some sites for their potential as tourist destinations, Qaddafi and/or his cronies have also allegedly sold off statuary from ancient sites like Leptis Magna for personal profit. See Like many despots, Qaddafi seems unable to distinguish between public property and his own.

Let's hope Libya's well preserved ancient ruins stay safe, and the Libyan people prevail in their death match with their eccentric tyrant, Col. Qaddafi, and his cronies.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Country's greatest assets are it's natural resources. Preserving such is an important matter. It could beautify the country's surroundings and yet it could also add up to the country's income. i haven't been to Libya yet but I had red in some articles that it composes so many natural resources which they actually serves as an assets to them.