Libya Herald reports that UNESCO is to provide $2.26 million, in conjunction with the Libyan and Italian governments, for a two-year project to conserve historic sites, establish conservation laboratories and train more security staff to protect the country’s treasures.
Roni Amelan, spokesman for UNESCO, told the news agency that projects would focus on training heritage professionals, including support staff and, in particular, security guards. “Priority will be given to the physical protection of cultural heritage sites and museum collections,” Amelan said.
There has been incidents of vandalism and theft from archaeological sites and museums even before the revolution. In 2006 the BBC reported that at least 90 important items had been stolen from Tripoli Museum since 1988, due to inadequate security.
Two valuable statue fragments have been returned to Libya from Europe this year, having been recognised as stolen.
Libya has five UNESCO World Heritage sites: Cyrene, Leptis Magna, Sabratha, the ancient town of Ghadames, one of the oldest Saharan cities still standing, and the rock-art sites of Tadrat Acacus.
(Source: Libya Herald)
(Picture: Leptis Magna)