Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Libya heritage update

Looted Libyan treasure 'in Egypt'
BBC News (Katya Adler)

Libya's National Transitional Council says it believes several hundred ancient coins stolen from a bank in Benghazi during the Libyan uprising have turned up in Egypt.

More than 7,000 priceless coins and other precious artefacts were taken during a robbery in May while the city fought for its survival against forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.

At the time, a fire at the bank was blamed on the fighting. Now it is thought to have been part of the audacious robbery.

The thieves targeted a collection known as the Treasure of Benghazi.

It included more than 10,000 pieces, with coins dating back to Greek, Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic times, but also other treasures such as small statues and jewellery.

Most had been discovered during the Italian occupation of Libya and were taken out of the country.

They were then returned to Libya in 1961 after the country's independence.

Robbers make off with priceless Treasure of Benghazi
Mail Online
A gang of Libyan looters have raided a priceless collection of gold and silver coins that are believed to date back to the time of Alexander the Great.

The thieves carried off with the pieces, known as The Treasure of Benghazi, having drilled through a concrete ceiling at the National Commercial Bank of Benghazi.

An expert has described the raid as 'one of the greatest thefts in archeological history.'
Silver didrachm, part of The Treasure of Benghazi collection have been stolen by looters in Libya

Silver didrachm, part of The Treasure of Benghazi collection have been stolen by looters in Libya

Whilst the break-in was initially believed to have been part of the uprising against Muammar Gadaffi, Hafed Walada, a Libyan archeologist working at King's College London told The Sunday Times; 'It may have been an inside job.

'It appears to have been carried out by people who knew what they were looking for.'
Hunt is on for treasures looted in Libyan uprising
(Brian Rohan)

Pieces from a huge collection of priceless ancient coins, jewellery and statuettes, looted from a bank vault in eastern Libya in the chaos of the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi, have appeared in the local souk and are being taken abroad.

The cache of some 8,000 pieces was taken by thieves who chiselled into a concrete bank vault in Benghazi in the early days of revolutionary tumult after fire spread from an adjacent headquarters of the feared secret police.

Residents of the seaside neighbourhood say the bank was invaded by looters in February, when Benghazi rose up against Gaddafi's rule and triggered a revolt that spread nationwide.

1 comment:

Judith Weingarten said...

Please note that Dorothy Lobel King has put photographs of many of the missing objects (from the temple of Artemis at Cyrene)up on her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dorothy-lobel-king/antiquities-missing-from-libya/10150381099902342?notif_t=note_reply